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Not, Lord, because I have done well or ill;
Not that my mind looks up to thee clear-eyed;
Not that it struggles in fast cerements tied;
Not that I need thee daily sorer still;
Not that I, wretched, wander from thy will;
Not now for any cause to thee I cry,
But this, that you are thou, and here am I.

–George MacDonald

Devotion by Alvin Rogness

She was four, and her mother had died.  She could not be consoled.  Her father and her brother tried.  They told her stories, they brought her toys.  For a moment she was distracted.  But then she began crying again, pushed the toys aside, and sobbed, “I don’t want nothin’, I want my momma.”

Why did she want her momma?  Because her mother made meals for her, tied her shoestrings, sang lullabies, or cradled her when she was sick?

Why do we need God?  Deep down, why do we cry for him?  Is it because we are afraid of losing our jobs, catching some dreaded disease, failing a test?  Perhaps because the future looms with such dangers?  Is it even because we are sinners and need salvation, forgiveness, and restoration?

These are legitimate needs.  If on our own we have the good fortune to have met these needs, or to live in the illusion that we have met them, then we may pretend to have no need of God.  If we do, we fail to understand both ourselves and God.

God wants to give us himself.  If we have all good things, but we don’t have him, deep down we will cry with the little girl, “I don’t want nothin’.”  Nothing but God himself will do.

We are created by him and for him; we are destined to live with him.  Without him we are fish out of water, birds without air.  The profoundest autobiography for any of us is, “I came from God and I return to God.”  Thou art thou, and here am I.

“My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning.”  (Psalm 130:6)

Alvin Rogness (1906-1992) was president of Luther Seminary, St. Paul, MN from 1955-1974.