Daily Devotional LifeJourney Church (MCC)

Sometimes, It’s “Jesus Only”

February 6th, 2012 • Category: Variety Week

Today’s scripture: Romans 6:6-11 (NRSV) (The Message) (KJV) What might God be saying to me?

My thoughts (Keith Phillips):

I’ve always been a “me-and-Jesus” kind of guy. Over the toilet where I can see it first thing every morning is the following prayer: “Lord, help me to remember that nothing is going to happen today that you and I together can’t handle.”

However, recently my son, Geoffrey, who’s a low functioning 25 year old with autism, moved into a group home. For the past twelve years he has lived with his mother, spending every other weekend with me. We tried to prepare him, but he never quite understood.

The day of the move, a Friday, was horrible for him. He was left alone in the hands of strangers, and he didn’t want to be there. This generally mild child was hitting, scratching, biting, screaming. Each time I called, the report was more dismal; and I heard him in the background repeatedly shouting my address and “Go home!” and his mother’s address and “Go home!” (The ex-wife was so traumatized that she insists she remembers nothing of those first two days.) My heart broke. There was nothing I could do for him. I was absolutely helpless.

In the midst of that, I wanted to be comforted, but friends I can usually count on were out of town. I went through my phone’s address book and came up with reasons why each one could not be there for me. I felt utterly alone.

I remember thinking, “Is this pain, which is like nothing I’d felt before, what God felt when Jesus was handed over on that other Friday?” Then I tumbled into the abyss. For the first time in my life I felt truly hopeless. Could it be that the God who assured me that we were doing the right thing was just a voice in my head? What if this not only doesn’t work out for Geoffrey, but it completely destroys him? At that moment I was helpless, alone, and without hope.

“My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?” and I connected with Jesus’ crucifixion in a manner more real than Mel Gibson will ever know. I was absolutely devastated. Friday and all day Saturday was a descent into hell. I had no way of knowing what would happen. I did know, though, that there were friends who had promised to pray for Geoffrey, and for me.

Sunday’s early morning report was the first good news we’d had. Geoffrey had finally slept peacefully through the night and was infinitely more calm. Since then, it’s been a positive, new journey for him, much like a resurrection. Two weeks later I was able to be with him for a Friday and Saturday. He recognizes his new home and is settling in. Thanks be to God!

Thought for today: Some things I can do nothing about, even with God’s help. How grateful I am that God then will take over completely and transform the worst into something new.

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the suggestions on the How to Pray page.

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