I’m sitting here with tears running down my face. My heart and mouth are crying, softly but repeatedly, “Jesus, we need You!” Because we do. We do.
Last night, my 4-year-old son had lots of questions after our Advent Story about Ruth. Why did Ruth’s people worship pretend gods? What are pretend gods? Why does Satan lie to people? Why will Satan be in hell? What is hell? I don’t want to go to hell—what do I need to do so I don’t go to hell?
We try to avoid weighty conversations like this before bedtime, because Josiah (like me) thinks deeply about things and then has a hard time sleeping. But it happened, and we tried to answer his questions in words he could understand:
Hell isn’t a place you can drive to. Hell is the place where you can’t be with God. Hell is being far away from God and His goodness and love. Jesus doesn’t want you to go there or be away from Him—Jesus came to rescue you so that you can always be with Him, even now. Without Jesus’ help, people don’t want to be with God. But Jesus changes what we want and changes our hearts. He helps us want to be with Him, and He helps us love Him and others. Jesus will always come find us if we get lost—He’s the Good Shepherd who goes and finds His lost sheep to bring them home. It’s up to Him, not you—and He always comes and finds you. You just need to know you’re lost and reach for Him when He comes.
We dove into the idea of Jesus still being with us now, even though He went to Heaven to be with God after He died in our place and came back to life, because His Spirit is still here, and His Spirit is Him—His love, His goodness, His help. And He’s here with us. That seemed to give Him some peace.
But I’m reading the book of John right now, and Lesslie Newbigin’s commentary on John, and thinking about light vs. darkness. Truth and glory. Life. Hope. And I’m just overwhelmed with our desperate need for these things. This world is so dark.
Last night, Josiah asked why Jesus had nails in him when he died. And then he told me that isn’t how he wanted to die. And I just can’t stop crying thinking about the horrors of this world and the crushing darkness that blinds and kills. I don’t want my son to suffer. I don’t want the evil within him or the evil outside of him to harm him. But our only hope is Jesus. Josiah’s only hope; Grace’s only hope; Isaiah’s only hope; every child and person everywhere—our only hope for rescue, life, and light is Jesus.
May we remember Him this Christmas. May we see reality and see His light, and may we reach for Jesus when He comes to find us.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
John 1:1-5 ESV