“You’re with Me….”

There’s a scene in The Shack where Mack and Jesus are out on the dock in the evening, enjoying the stars. Mack imagines he could reach out and pluck diamonds off a velvet black sky:

“Wow!” he whispered.
“Incredible!” Whispered Jesus…”I never get tired of this…”

They’re doing nothing, Jesus and Mack. Just lying on the dock looking up at the stars together.

Doesn’t look like the Assembly “god”, who was always intensely involved in or gearing up for the next meeting or outreach or seminar. Here God is just taking time to be with Mack….not doing anything.

This time of the year I always get pensive about my Christian life–August 2 is my “spiritual birthday.” I’ve been over 50 years–fifty years!— on this path. The feeling that first pops to the surface whenever I think about this is, “So little to show for it…” Not, “Wow, God is so faithful!”, but, “I haven’t done enough, or progressed enough, or…” Ridiculous! As if I could ever do enough or progress enough in holiness in this life!

But the reason for that inappropriate feeling comes from another significant event: Next month marks the fortieth anniversary of meeting George and Betty Geftakys. Which marked the end of joy in my salvation, and the beginning of the struggle to do more and be more and die more in the effort to be pleasing to God.

While Jesus and Mack are lying there on the dock, Mack says, “Jesus, I feel so lost.” Jesus reaches out a hand and squeezes his shoulder. “I know, Mack. But it’s not true. I am with you and I’m not lost….Hear me clearly. You are not lost.”

I’m feeling inadequate in my Christian life, and Jesus is saying, “Relax. Be at peace. I’m here with you in what you’re doing right now,”–which is the everyday things of ordinary life. Just “doing the next thing”. And it’s OK. I’m OK.

I want to hold onto that, because the mind control of those twenty years with G and B that began forty years ago is very powerful and still shapes how I feel way too frequently. Mack saying, “I feel lost,” (hearing it on the CD made a more lasting impression than reading it in the book) and Jesus saying, “You’re with me and I am not lost,” gives me a clear mental image to hang truth on. When the tense feeling comes that I ought to do more, or be more, I can hear Him saying, “You’re with me. Relax and know that I am God.”

I really do have to say after fifty years on the road, He preserves the souls of His own, and delivers them from the hand of the wicked. And just that in itself brings glory to His name from my life, no matter what else I accomplish or become.

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Margaret Irons and her husband Steve and three children were in the Fullerton Geftakys Assembly for twenty years. We left in March, 1990. We are still recovering and learning in Orange County, CA.

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