Leave a Message At the Beep

     Life during the past month has taken some unexpected turns.  Sounds familiar doesn’t it!  Our son Ben has been ill and this has taken us to many doctor appointments, emergency room visits, and one brief hospital stay. The month of February has pretty much been a blur. As with other issues that pop up out of nowhere in the pages of our lives, this has been a somewhat consuming and distracted time for me. You know too well, I am sure, that with all the balls we are already juggling in the air one more can become too many and something has to go on the “back burner” so to speak. Most of my life I must confess that I have been guilty of allowing my time and relationship with Jesus to be the thing usually shifted to the “back burner.”
How ridiculous that sounds and looks when I put it into print! 
     Perhaps it is because these other things that seem to be pressing so hard from all directions make the most “noise” in our lives.  We tend to respond to the constant harang of these things and miss that still quiet voice of Jesus calling us to spend time with Him, to just sit in His presence where we can find peace and direction and extra grace for the time at hand.
     Several years ago, Ben provided me with the perfect example of how I sometimes incorrectly handle my relationship with the Lord in the midst of turmoil.  My parents had come to our home to visit one afternoon.  Ben had not been having a very good day already.  Every day can be a new day in the life of a child with autism, and you never know what might be the thing that upsets the apple cart.  The arrival of his grandpartents, whom he loves so much, for some reason had an even more negative effect on his day.  Upon seeing them he locked himself in his room and refused to come out. After giving him some time and space, my dad and stepmother knocked softly on his door and encouraged Ben to come out.  Now get ready for it!  This was his response to them from behind the locked door, “Leave a message at the beep. BEEEEP!”
     It is OK if you just laughed. We did! Seeing the humor in situations like this is part of the survival mode for parents with autisitic children. His grandparents did as directed, told him they loved him and would love to see him, but he never left his room.  There were love, hugs and fellowship to be had on the other side of that door, but Ben could not, would not avail himself to it. Ben’s condition often leaves his emotions and reactions out of his understanding and control. What is our reason for telling our Heavenly Father, our Lord and Savior to just leave a message at the beep because we are too overwhelmed with life and busy for him right now?  Why do we do that when we need him the most, when life is pressing in on every side? 
   Let Ben be an example of what not to do. Open the door of your heart and mind to Jesus when you hear him gently knocking. Life is loud and makes every effort to drown out that sound. You have to listen carefully and then take time to unlock the door. There on the other side is fellowship, guidance, extra grace for the moment, wisdom, and unconditional love.  There is peace in the most difficult of situations.  Jesus will not break down the door to get to you.  It is you who must open the door. (Rev. 3:20)
     If you already know Jesus as your Lord and Savior, perhaps this will just serve as a reminder of what you already know but have lost focus of in your life.  If so, make that reconnection with him right now before another day passes.  Maybe you have not given your life to Jesus, but you have been hearing that gentle knocking and voice at the door of your heart. Open that door to Jesus and learn of His sacrificial love, forgiveness and plan for your life.  Don’t delay! That day when Ben did not open the door was the last time my dad visited our house.  It was our last time to visit with him outside of a hospital room before his death just weeks later. We never know what tomorrow might bring. Give Jesus the key to the door of your heart today.

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