Letters to My Friend -

Jesus Is Mine Forever

By Mary Stephens, Jan. 2021

Dear Friend,

Do you ever wake up in the night all upset or panicked about something and struggle to give it to the Lord? Maybe, like me, you also wake in the morning and realize that your mind was completely irrational in those wee small hours. Maybe you even feel a bit foolish too. Sometimes I feel a lot foolish.

The year 2020 was rough on a lot of us. Covid itself, and then the resulting upheaval to life in so many ways was bad enough, but added to that in the U.S. we had a volatile election year. Many people saw family relationship and friendships break down in ways that were sad and disheartening. For my family we also had my dad having a mini stroke, the death of two pets, my mom's dementia crisis and then the end of her life, and numerous deaths connected to family and friends (many not directly related to Covid). Plus I've been traveling that rollercoaster ride known as "entering menopause." To say that life was feeling a little fragile for me sometimes would be an understatement.

So, it isn't surprising that one night not long ago I was stressing in the night about something relating to my husband. My sleep-deprived, discombobulated brain was telling me things that were rather shocking to me, and not necessarily logical. Ok, not really logical much at all. In the morning I was able to realize that it was not as bad as I had thought in the middle of the night. I was able to talk to my husband about it and he was very patient and kindly helped me sort it out. In fact, it was so dreadfully important I don't even remember what it was now. (Sigh. Yeah, one of those.)

But, in the dark hours of the night I was distressed and half panicked.

The thing is, that regardless of how unreasonable my chaotic thoughts were, the Lord met me there and gave me a song in the night to comfort me. Because He's like that. He will minister to us even when our need is not  based in reality. Did you ever notice that? The thing I was so upset about was more than half the invention of my scattered and befuddled night brain, and yet my merciful and kind Father comforted me with a song of deliverance in the night.

Psalm 32:7 Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah.

Job 35:10 But none saith, Where is God my maker, who giveth songs in the night;

As I was getting up to go to the powder room a song popped into my head - a song I hadn't thought about in a long time. The song was "Happy Am I!" It was written by a man named Mickey Holiday, who came to Christ years ago after having been part of a worldly music group. My parents had a record of it in the 1970s and remember it being played in our home. The Lord used it to comfort me that night because, although I was remembering the lively melody, it was little more than the words of the first line that came to me.

"Happy am I, Jesus is mine forever..."

The thing that struck my unreasonable mind in that difficult moment was that no matter what may come in life, Jesus is mine forever! Mine, not "ours," although He is that; but my own personal possession, Friend, and Savior. He will go with me through this life and throughout all eternity. I don't need to be afraid of being alone because He will always be with me. No circumstance of life can ever change that. Nothing that happens after this brief life will change that.

Many of us have a fear, or at least some dread, of being left alone from a human standpoint. It's actually a natural thing since we are created to be part of groups. God Himself said it was not good for man to be alone (Gen. 2:18), and so He created someone to go with him. Then He commanded them to be fruitful and have children who also became part of their group. And, of course, there are many ways we are meant to be part of groups of people, in particular now as members of the body of Christ who meet in smaller groups as churches for edification and growing together in the knowledge of Jesus Christ.

Do you remember what the Bible says in Hebrews 13:5: Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.

Did you know that God led the translators of the King James Version of the Bible to do a curious thing to help us understand His word better? In English we don't have a common way to distinguish between "you" singular and "you" plural. We can say "you all" (or "y'all" in the South of the U.S.) to indicate more than one, but "you" by itself is commonly used to describe one OR more than one. God led the KJV translator to distinguish between "you" singular and "you" plural by using "thee/thou/thine" for singular and "you/ye/your/yours" for plural. Is this significant? You better believe it is! It gives us some very important insights in some places. (More on that another time.)

Notice in Hebrews 13:5 that it starts out addressed to "you" - "your conversation". He is speaking of the group - all of you. But, the quote from the Lord is addressed to "you" singular! "I will never leave THEE, nor forsake THEE..." That means you your little ol' own self - you right there wherever you are sitting or standing at this moment - if you are His child by faith in Jesus Christ! You individually. You when you are alone. You when you are with others. You when you are afraid. You when you are lonely. Not the group. Not someone else. You! He will never leave thee! What a sweet and precious thought.

Happy and I! Jesus is mine forever,
Never to leave, always in each endeavor;
Leading me on, to a life ending never;
Giving a smile, every mile, happy am I!

He truly is mine forever. And He is yours forever too, if you are His child. That is something worth being happy about.

Because Jesus Loves You, Mary Stephens

P.S. If you would like to listen to this song, here is a link to a video on YouTube. This is not my usual type of music, but it is the best version I could find. :-)  Happy Am I!

background and graphics by Mary Stephens
vintage graphic: unknown source