“What if Jesus isn’t real?”

Categorized as Rhonda's Posts

Every once in awhile, it happens. The Cub’s getting ready to head for bed, and he says it, “Mom, wanna come lay down with me?”

I’ve learned that sometimes, he’s just wanting the company. But sometimes, he’s got something on his mind that comes out there in the darkness of his room with a crack of light juuuust peeking in from my office upstairs.

Last night, it was the latter.

“You can have any pillow you want.” That’s what he says. And he’s talking about his huge pillow inventory that’s carefully arranged on his bed every day.

I pick one, place it right next to his, and slip in. He’s getting his water glass ready to put beside his bed in case he gets thirsty in the night. And then, as he’s slipping in, too, he says, “There’s somethin’ I need to talk to you about.”

I’m listening.

“I don’t know if it’s just the devil tryin’ to git inside my head, but I’ve been havin’ these thoughts. ‘What if Jesus isn’t real?’”

There’s a weight, an anxiety in his words, and it’s a weight that I well know. For doubt on a child weighs like the Andes mountains, pressing down.

“That’s normal,” I say in the dim light of the room. “It’s because you’ve never seen Him with your eyes. You’ve never met my grandparents (your great-grandparents), either, but you know they existed.” He’s all ears, two big ones, in the night.

“You can’t see electricity, can you? Can’t see the wires inside the walls or the way it runs through them. When you look at the switch, you could think, ‘I don’t know if it actually works or not,’ and then you can choose to have faith that it does and flip it, and there it is. The lights come on.”

His sigh holds oceans of relief, and the way his shoulders slump tell me how hard it’s been. “Whew! I feel better. ‘Cause I thought, ‘Come on!’” He’d been paddlin’ himself, feeling awful. But now, such relief.

Later on when I thought about our bedtime chat, I came to me. Just because believing Jesus is real has always come easy for me, it doesn’t mean that it’s easy for everyone else. ‘Cause faith, I know, can be hard. Real hard.

Just like my boy whose faith turns on the lights, says its prayers. Just like his ordinary, curly-headed mother who has reached out for Him in some very dark and painful hours and has always found Him there.

Just like three wisemen who took an angel’s word on faith and made an outrageous, nonsensical trip by the light of a single, lone star. And just like countless others throughout history who’ve chosen, by faith, to “flip the switch” and have found Bread of Life, Living Water…

Have found for themselves that Jesus, after all, is real. And that He cares. For the shepherd boys and servant girls, slaves and kings, common man and wealthy elite, learned and unlearned, washed and unwashed alike, Jesus cares, and He’s come.

“Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.” You have His word.

Because He’s real,


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