"Momma," he called from the dark bedroom. "Is Jesus here?"
"Ok, don't worry, Mom, we just can't see Him," he shouted from his bed.
I plopped down on the sofa, letting Justin's words reverberate in the frayed edges of my mind. What he so blithely acknowledged and accepted I needed in every part of my being. I needed to know that yes, Jesus was here.
In the midst of my mommy chaos, between the sandwiched moments of calm and at the core of my purpose, I longed for His presence. Oh, to rest like my 4-year-old-son in the uncomplicated knowledge that Jesus is here; I just can't see Him right now.
I gazed about at the stray toys scattered around the room, a laundry basket with half-folded little shirts and pants, bits of food drying on the high chair and realized how often I segmented Jesus' presence to pieces of life filled with calm and serenity.
But Jesus walked on top of the water to Peter in the wind and waves. Surely, He can come to me before my dishes are washed, while I change the baby's diaper and as I pick up scattered books. He doesn't wait for my perfect timing or until I have everything in order in my life. He is here in the middle of my mess.
"Lord, if it is You, bid me come to You on the water," Peter said when He saw Jesus walking toward him on the water.
"Come!" Jesus told Peter.
Like Peter, I see distractions, and my focus leaves the one whose hand holds me above the waves.
"But when he saw the strong wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink, he cried out, 'Lord, save me!'" (Matt. 14:28-33; NASB).
The question asked innocently by a little boy grew to become a sweet reminder of Jesus' presence every day.
"Is Jesus here?" I asked under the sheet-tent where Justin and I huddled. His toy mower and his stuffed Clifford took up the rest of the space where we sheltered from bad people.
"Is Jesus here?" I asked while we walked. Trees swayed gracefully above the path, blue sky and sunshine winked down through the yellow autumn canopy above us.
"Is Jesus here?" I asked. Justin stood on a stool with his little hands in sudsy water. Our fingers were wrinkled, water dripped down our elbows onto the floor while the dishes soaked.
"... I am with you always," Jesus told his disciples after He died and rose again. He wanted His disciples to remember even when they couldn't see him anymore, "... I am with you always, even to the end of the age" (Matt. 28:20b).
Justin sat in the pebbled sand, "Is Jesus here?" he asked me expectantly. He looked up into my face, his eyes questioned mine, a big dump truck rolled at his knees. A dimpled hand on the yellow truck paused, expecting the answer, waiting with anticipation, "Is He, Momma?"
Mommies need to know, and sometimes littlest disciples are the best reminders.
"I am with you always..."
"Yes, Justin, Jesus is here."
He nods his blonde-headed approval and smiles, "We just can't see Him."
"Momma," he pauses and looks about, "is Elijah around here somewhere?"
Sylvia Schroeder serves as women's care coordinator at Avant Ministries. She and her husband raised four children in Italy and Germany, where they were missionaries with Avant. Their children are married, and they have 12 grandchildren. Visit her blog, "When the House is Quiet," at sylviaschroeder.com.
This article originally appeared at just18summers.com.
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