She Needs Jesus

I had a friend back in the day who always made me laugh. Partly because she was truly funny, and partly because she didn’t have much of a filter. She would just say stuff that was not quite appropriate- she was raw and real. And a Christian. I didn’t have a lot of friends back then that were all of those things. Two of the things Gail would say regularly have been creeping back into my own parlance of late.

My favorite was when people would ask where she was going, Gail would get this sparkle in her eye and say, “Hell if I don’t change my ways.” And she’d motor away in her blue mustang, laughing.

The other day, the FPK and I were in the kitchen and the Hubby was headed out to run an errand or something. FPK says to me, “where’s he going?” Before I could stop myself, out popped, “Hell, if he doesn’t change his ways.” The two of them stood there and looked at me – probably with the same quizzical look I had given Gail the first time she did that to me. I’m not sure which of us broke first, but we all ended up snorting.

The second Gail-ism was more of an observation. She’d see someone doing or saying something that was just not right- whether odd or bad- and say, “She needs Jesus.” She didn’t hold back if she thought you’d done her wrong… you could be sure of a “You need Jesus” aimed straight at you.

Of course, both of these were her way of tweaking the highly conservative evangelical mostly fundamentalist people that we were surrounded by… some of whom would say both of these things and REALLY mean them. And they probably thought that we both needed Jesus and that were were truly on the road straight to hell based on our less than wonderful ways.

One of the bloggers I follow posted his response to a book he read recently which has challenged him to consider how God is saving his life every day. Interestingly, a friend of mine who was in seminary a few years back had mentioned coming to that same place… realizing that every day, he was in need of saving. Not that we lose our salvation daily, but that God is about redeeming us in a thousand little (and big ways) every day.

At the time, I didn’t get it, but perhaps this is one of those “fullness of time” moments when things come together in my feeble-but-too-often-trusted brain and still-not-as-open-as-it-ought-to-be heart. Perhaps it’s taking the time to understand what a mishmash of reformed and Baptist and other Americana doctrines I’ve understood as Christianity (thanks, Dr. H). Anyway, I read that post, remembered Josh’s conversation and a song by another Josh came rushing to mind.

Savior Please

Savior, please take my hand
I work so hard, I live so fast
This life begins, and then it ends
And I do the best that I can,
but I don’t know how long I’ll last
I try to be so tough
But I’m just not strong enough
I can’t do this alone, God I need You to hold on to me
I try to be good enough
But I’m nothing without Your love
Savior, please keep saving me
Savior, please help me stand
I fall so hard, I fade so fast
Will You begin right where I end
And be the God of all I am
because You’re all I have
I try to be so tough
But I’m just not strong enough
I can’t do this alone, God I need You to hold on to me
I try to be good enough
But I’m nothing without Your love
Savior, please keep saving me

Hallelujah…Everything You are to me
Is everything I’ll ever need
And I am learning to believe
That I don’t have to prove a thing
‘Cause You’re the one who’s saving me…

So often lately, I’ve found myself exhausted. Not just because I’ve been burning the candle at both ends, but because I’ve been trying to live on my own. Doing it the hard way. Leaving Jesus to take care of all those other people, because I’m ok really. I mean, we’re financially in decent shape. We’ve don’t have any major illnesses hanging over us. And the FPK is doing pretty well for a 13 year old. Jesus has so many other people with so many bigger needs he can pay attention to.

Yeah. Uh huh. I can see Gail now, pointing at me, saying, “She needs Jesus.” And not laughing. No wonder I’m exhausted. Trying to run my universe while running a household and raising a child and husband, while taking classes while working full time… without a savior. For a smart girl, I can be plumb stupid.
Forget holding onto and leaning into Jesus. I need to wake up every morning and get out a prayer rug five times a day to relinquish that control. Jesus is the one doing the holding. And the saving. And the loving and teaching and forgiving and speaking and… and… and…

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