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May I Come Up?

One week ago was Ash Wednesday.  For many of us, Lent has deep spiritual significance. It’s a time when we give up something that is special to us. We deny ourselves something we enjoy as a way to draw closer to the heart of God.

So, in the spirit of Lent, I want to share a story with you from my not too distant past that I hope will draw us all just a little closer to the heart of God.

About six years ago, quite unexpectedly, my husband and I fostered a small dog who needed a lot of love and attention. When he came to us, he was full of fear and was cautious about everything we did. He didn’t trust us much. But as we gently showed Samson that we loved him and would provide for his needs, he warmed up to us. He shed his fear and began to trust.

Samson went through a lot when we first got him. He had to have surgery to remove several of his teeth. He had to have half a dozen needles. Take awful-tasting pills. And he had several baths. We had to do all these things, not because Samson would enjoy them, but because it was best for him. Everything he went through, as difficult as it was, gave him a better quality of life. He had to give up some things - like several of his teeth and some of his hair - but he became a much happier and spirited doggie because of it.

Once Samson started to trust us, it seemed like he always wanted to be as close to us as possible. When I sat in my recliner for example, he would come and put his paws on the chair. He’d do a few little excited jumps on his front paws as if to say, “Can I Come Up?’.  Of course, I couldn’t resist Samson’s big brown eyes, so I bent down and lifted him into the chair with me. Every time I would pick Samson up into the chair, I noticed he NEVER took his eyes off of me until he was fully into the chair. And I’ll never forget the day he want for his tooth surgery, just before he went through the door, he looked down the hall in my direction, where I was watching and waiting for him. It broke my heart, but I knew I would be there for him the whole time.

This reminds me of a verse of scripture. 1 Timothy 1:7 tells us that God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love, and of a sound mind. When we first come to Jesus, it’s kind of like when Samson first came to us - we can be fearful - not sure if we can trust God or not. But as we realize the things we go through that are difficult, and the things we stop doing in order to live a godly life, bring us more peace and contentment than we had before, we realize that we can trust God to do what is best for us.

It’s at times like these that I think about my Dad’s home going. Dad died many years ago very peacefully in his sleep. And he was still very young, only 63. He went to work on Monday morning, and was home with Jesus on Tuesday morning. Dad was the kind of man who lived his life in such a way that everyone knew Christ was the center of his life.

When I remember Samson and the way he would ask to be close to me, I often think of Dad. I wonder if, as he gently slipped into eternity that night, Dad made eye contact with Jesus and said, “May I come up now?”

I want to live my life in such a way that when someday I come to the end of my life and ask my heavenly Father, “May I come up now?” God will bend down, lift me up into his warm embrace, where I will look him straight in the eyes, snuggle into his presence and hear him say, “Well done, my good and faithful daughter.”

So as we embark on this Lenten season leading up to Good Friday and then the great celebration of Easter Sunday where we acknowledge Jesus’ victory over death and hell and the grave, let us be willing to give up those things that distract us from Jesus, not just for Lent, but always. Then, when the time comes, we will reach our hands out to the Father, and say, “May I come up now?”

UNTIL that day comes - until he bends down and lifts us up and positions us beside him for eternity, let us never stop looking directly into His eyes.


Father, help us to turn our eyes always toward you for all of life’s ups and downs. Then, the things of earth will grow strangely dim and we’ll be ready when our time comes, to say, “Can I come up now?

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