I head down steps into our basement. I’ve been fighting a cold over the past few days, hovering in limbo between sickness and health. Mama has sent me down to the guest room, because our wood stove has had some trouble leaking smoke. My mild sensitivity to it keeps me sneezing and congested. In the guest room, with all doors closed I shall open the window, and allow the (freezing) fresh air to fill the room.
I’m feeling unenthusiastic about this. I’d rather be upstairs where it is warm. I close door, pile blankets over my already high quality sleeping bag, and prepare to slip in. Last of all I open the window. Frigid, spicy, snow cleansed air spills into the room. I rush for my cocoon of warmth.
I feel down. Down because of this cold that won’t go away. Down because I’m down here instead of upstairs with my family. Down because the usual gusto I have for life has been lacking over the past little while. Down because I’m... down.
I pray. And the Comforter soothes my heart until I’m ready to settle in. Buried in my sleeping bag beneath warm blankets, I reach out a hand for my iPod to check the time. When it turns on the name of the song last played greets my eyes: “God So Loved the World.” I’m about to navigate away, when I’m stopped by the thought that maybe I should listen to it. I do. Sweet children’s voices fill my ears.
“God so loved the world, God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son; His only begotten Son...”
Wait a minute. We’re talking about God here... God. He has everything, right? Wealth, power, resources, angels, worlds loyal; He never gets cold or hot, never hungry or thirsty, never lacks anything. He has self-existent life, original, unborrowed, underived. And if there was something He was missing, His mere word would bring it about. He has everything. How is it then that He gave His only...??
The word “only” pierces my heart now. His only Son...
I picture the Father in heaven. The spot on the throne where His Son always sat is empty. Why? Because His Son is down there on that tiny earth God so loves. Empty, for the first time in eternity. Empty.
Imagine the emptiness God must have felt at that moment. So what if He has wealth, power, resources, angels, worlds loyal, etc, etc.?? There is only one Jesus. Only one. And God gave Him - didn’t lend Him - gave Him to the human race. For eternity. Gave Him to me.
Suddenly I realize God and I have something in common. We both have only one Jesus. God of course has a right to Jesus. He’s His Son. Of course God would want Him around- He’s the Prince of Heaven. They’ve always been together. Of course God wouldn’t want to give Him up.
But I need Jesus, so desperately; and only Jesus will do. I’m lost without Him. And He is the only One who can help me, lift me up, save, transform, and recreate me. God looks at me, and God looks at Himself. We both need/want the same Person. But God loves me so, that He gives me His Son.
My heart strains. I cry. My breath comes in little choking sobs. I listen as children’s voices continue - “That whosoever believeth on Him should have.... everlasting life.”
The frigid room I’m in seems suddenly the most wonderful place in the world. I have the love of God, and I have Jesus. Yes, the One and Only Jesus. He’s mine.
My irregular breathing irritates my cough, and I spend the next hour or so in side and throat splitting discomfort. Usually under such circumstances I pray for the cough to be relieved. Now I scarcely care. Let me stay awake all night! I have Jesus, and I talk to Him in prayer.
I relish the words of another favorite song about this same one and only Jesus around whom all the life and love of the universe revolves:
“Thou the Promise, and Keeper of the promise,
Our salvation, and our only Savior,
Our redemption, our Redeemer,
Thou art ours, and we are Thine.”
I sleep. And yes, as is always the case when I follow Mama’s instructions, I feel much better come morning light.
I walk around lost in the wonder. God, the entire universe, and I, all cherish that one Person. There’s only one Jesus.