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I Am with You

I Am with You

Recently I’ve said final good-byes to too many dear friends. Some separations I anticipated after difficult illnesses. Others left quite suddenly. In each one the same words, “with Jesus,” announced the home-going. I’ve contemplated those two words, running them over the empty place left behind and pondering on the exquisite going forward they promise. Few words offer such comfort and hope. For surely, tragic as it is to be separated from this earth, to be with Jesus is far better.

With is a powerful thing.

“Come with me,” she tugged at my hand. I looked down at her upturned face, ski-jump nose and pig tails. “Pleeeease.”

We walked together, her hand safe in mine. I reached to get the balloon she could have easily gotten on her own and bent down to wrap its string around her wrist. Her delight smiled into my heart.

“Stay with me, don’t leave,” he said tucked into his airplane pajamas with the big hole in the knee.

Downstairs clean-up called me. I heard its voice beckoning, “wash me, put me away, finish what you started.” Even though the words called loudly, a much softer whisper from his bed tugged dearer. Light from the half open door split the dark room like a bright triangle. It lit the bed where I sat and illumined his pillow. Wide fearful eyes in a white face begged me, and a little hand slithered from under the blanket to pat my leg.

“Stay with me.”

Our big girl rode a rowdy bus every day to middle school with more angst than pleasure, necessity than choice, and because the oldest does what big kids do. In line for the bus, her dad drove up to pack her into the car after school.

“Wanna come home with me?” he invited through the open window.

Delighted, big sis traded her unpleasant bus for a ride home with dad. She threw open the car door, dumped the heavy backpack, and slid in. No princess carriage could have brought more joy than a surprise car ride home. Dad and daughter smiled at one another giddy in the happiness of “with.”

Jesus’ last words to his disciples reminded them, “…And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matt. 28:20; ESV.

Could He have said anything at his departure offering greater comfort and hope to us His children?

Communicating “with” to our children, extends security, love, and value. Playing with. Being with. Talking with. Listening with. Time with.

This is what Jesus did with his disciples on earth. He spent time with them, went with them, and ate with them. He engaged in their discussions. He took time out of His important schedule to be “with.” At His parting the void must have filled them with dread.

But, “I am with you always,” He told them.

The “with” changed everything. It does for us today as well.

There is perhaps no teaching more important to instill into the next generation than the love of being with Christ daily and the assurance it brings of His presence. When children see mom and dad making time to be with Jesus, they know its importance in our lives. Those dedicated moments convey how deeply we value the Person with whom we spend time.

“With” asks us to put down the phone, to turn towards, to engage.

Our little disciples might not recognize the sacrifices we make, the gifts we give or those clean clothes we put on them. They may forget times you sat through their swimming lesson or paid another dental bill. Yet your consistent presence instills an unconscious sense of hope and comfort as only being with can.

Conveying “I am with you,” points them toward the One who will be with them always, even when we can’t.

With changes everything.

What hinders your “with”?

By: Sylvia Schroeder serves as Women’s Care Coordinator at Avant Ministries. Mom to four, grandma to 14, and wife to her one and only love, she enjoys writing about all of them. Find her blog at When the House is Quiet. Like her Facebook page or follow her on twitter.

Join us at www.just18summers.com for our parenting blog each Monday-Friday and for info about the Just 18 Summers novel.

6 Comments

  1. Oh, how I love this verse: “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matt. 28:20; ESV.” What a comfort to know that He is always with us and never leaves us! Thank you for sharing!

  2. Your message is a beautiful reminder of the importance of “being with.” The time we spend with our children shapes their lives forever. And, of course we know that the time we spend with our Lord is the most important of all. We are blessed that Jesus is always willing to “be with” us. We just have to seek His presence. Thanks for your inspiring message.

    • Thank you Katherine. I need to be reminded of “with” as much as anyone. It is such a precious thought to me today.

  3. “With”; can there be a sweeter word? A word that expresses what it means to be loved with God’s love. What a wonderful post Ms. Sylvia. In today’s culture, it seems to be more fashionable to be against something or someone that it does to be with. Let us all learn from your wonderful examples ma’am, to the Power of With. God’s blessings ma’am.

    • Again J.D. I appreciate your thoughts! The fact of “with” has become dear to me recently. I’m so grateful it was meaningful to you as well!

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