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During a time of grief, I clung to my Bible and all of God’s promises about eternal life. I could not accept that my friend was just dead, but I feared it was true. Up until then, I had been content in my life keeping my relationship with God on the surface. I did things just for the sake of doing them…because they were things I was ‘supposed’ to do.
But when my Friend died, my surface relationship was no longer enough. I became desperate for proof of God’s existence…tangible proof. Every night I read two scriptures, Matthew 5:4 – blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted and Psalm 103, specifically verses 15-16 – The life of mortals is like grass, they flourish like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more – these verses comforted me and reminded me that we all have a temporary existence here on this earth. I also took great comfort in John 14:2 – my Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? With that promise, I knew that not only was my friend there with Christ in a room He prepared, but that I also would be someday.
I talked about the comfort I found in God’s promises with a co-worker at the time, a man whose mother pastored a Methodist church. This co-worker, a self-proclaimed atheist despite his upbringing, said to me, “Julie, I’m glad you find comfort there. I think that’s what God is…an idea for people to cling to when they are in despair. I’m sure that someday when I’m in despair, I will look for something to comfort me, too. Until then, I’m fine. I don’t need God.”
I nodded at him, not necessarily agreeing but respecting his beliefs. I didn’t know enough about God to say otherwise. I felt that God was more than an idea. At least, I hoped for that, but I didn’t know for sure which caused great difficulty because I so desperately needed to know. I wanted more…was frantic for more. But at that time, my grief so overwhelmed me that I could only handle bits at a time – just the parts I needed to deal with the immense pain that came from losing someone I loved so much.
As time passed, and I began feeling His healing within me, I started to realize that even though the pain of my grief was subsiding, I still needed God. I then knew that what my co-worker tried to live his life by wasn’t enough. I needed God to find purpose in my life. I needed Him to teach me love and compassion and forgiveness. I needed His grace and the constant hope in Him that life is eternal…and that that doesn’t mean we wait to discover it. It means that it happens right now. Our eternal life starts RIGHT now.
Unlike my former co-worker, I don’t want to conform to the idea that I used God to get me through a tough time and now I don’t need Him again until I’m in despair. No. Through my faith, I know that He is a living God…a part of our eternal life which has already begun. I know I need Him not just daily but every moment. How do know that? I know it because He says so.
2 Corinthians 6:18 states, “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters,’ says the Lord Almighty.” We are His children. His. He is in us, a part of us…or better yet, we are a part of Him. When we realize and accept Christ, we are filled with the Holy Spirit. We need Him to live…to truly live. It is impossible to do more than just exist without Him.
I encourage you to embrace your need for God every moment. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you can tuck Him away somewhere only to pull Him out when you are in despair. That kind of life is really not living.
Dear Heavenly Father, I need you. Every day, I need you to fill me, to show me grace, compassion, and forgiveness. Help me in my focus on you in my daily life so that I might truly know eternal life now and always. Amen.
In what circumstances do you need God?