There come these moments in life - a few at first, and then more as the years go by - where it becomes evident, even to the most flimsy of all believers, that the only real option, the only legitimate choice, is to trust Jesus with this one. To release the grips our own hands have and to entrust our lives to His hands. Sometimes, in these moments, we can even see Him standing here, tender eyes piercing straight through to the very core of our being, calloused, wounded hands stretched out, ready to take our lives in trust.
And in these moments, I must confess, it's still hard. Almost impossible. Even the most faithful of all believers have this amazing ability to look Jesus in the eye, to feel the tenderness radiating from His face, to know without a doubt the love His calloused, wounded hands hold, and to turn away, scuffle their feet, and mumble something about maybe tomorrow. Or at the very least, not yet.
I don't know what it is. I don't know if it's our desire to do things for ourselves, our desperate attempts to get one last good go at things before we ask for help. I don't know if it's our overconfidence that we are capable of doing these things for ourselves. I don't know if it's our burden of shame that prevents us from looking into His eyes for too long. I don't know if it's our sense of unworthiness, which is at the same time magnified and alleviated in His presence, that keeps us from receiving good gifts. I don't know if it's our illusion of time, which we are sure heals all wounds, that keeps us from embracing this moment, this one right here. That keeps us from making tomorrow today.
But something about it makes our breath catch in our throats. Something about it makes our hearts almost stop. Something about it makes our knees knock and our legs tremble until we're not sure we can stand any more. And perhaps we shouldn't stand in such an amazing presence, but so, too, have we forgotten how to fall.
A few days ago, I was thinking about these moments, these incredible moments where Jesus is just one simple breath away and we know it...and we still can't take it. I was thinking about all the times it's easier to say tomorrow than yes, all the times it's easier to say some day than today. And I was thinking about the day that's coming when that won't be an option. The day is coming where there is no tomorrow.
I laughed as I considered what it might be like to stand before Jesus when this life is over, when my time here is done. And I thought about what it will be like when I feel my breath taken away all over again, my heart stops beating, my knees start knocking and I'm not sure I can stand. Will I, when there is no other choice, remember how to fall? Will I, when there is no tomorrow, be able to consent to today? Will I, when there is not even the illusion of one more thing I can do for myself, be able to let Jesus do it?
I laughed as I imagined my dead self standing before God, feebly asserting that I have just one more thing I want to try, one more breath I want to take, one more day I want to live on my own before I come crawling back to Jesus. For one more day, Lord, let me be a zombie, because this life You offer is just too good to be true.
And it is laughable, really, but it's not far off. At least, not from my own experience. I haven't had a lot of these moments, but I'm having them more and more. More and more opportunities to reach out. More and more opportunities to trust. More and more moments where His eyes see right through me and His voice offers what can only be amazing, and all I have to do is say yes. Today. And fall.
And here I am trying to stand.
Here I am trying to catch my breath.
Here I am trying to feel my own heartbeat when the truth is that in these moments, it's so wrapped up in His that the only rhythm in all the world is perfect love.
Here I am thinking tomorrow is going to change something more dramatically than today is offering, that just a little more time will bring a moment better than this one. Maybe tomorrow, Lord. Maybe tomorrow.
But there is no tomorrow. There never has been. There's not even today.
There's just forever. And there's just right now.