Growing up, my parents did a really great job teaching my brother and I the difference between a need and a want. I remember going to them for different things saying, “I need that new bike,” or even, “I need to go to my friend’s house.” My mom had a way of looking at us and we knew the question was coming, “Do you need that or just want that?” We’d stop and think, and realize that many of our so-called “needs” were actually “wants.”
Sometimes when my brother or I would realize we were asking for a “want” my parents would start singing the infamous “you can’t always get what you want” song. To this day, I really can’t stand that song, yet I find myself singing it to my daughters…
We can ask ourselves: do we want Jesus or do we need Jesus?
Because there is a big difference.
I think many of us get stuck in only wanting Jesus. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a wonderful thing to want Jesus. It’s wonderful to want Him in our lives and to be part of His. Wanting Him shows our love for Him. But just like a bike or going somewhere, we can easily move onto wanting something else. Not only that, but circumstances can change and with it our wants. It’s hard to want Jesus when we’re faced to speak against the current or stand up for the truth. We want Jesus, but when it’s good for us.
When we need Jesus, it’s completely different.
To need Jesus is live what He told us, “Without me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). To need Jesus means that believing every single thing in our life depends on Him. Needing Him leads to prayer because we need to be with Him. It leads to thanksgiving because we see that everything comes from Him.
Needing Jesus not only puts Him in the center of our lives, but needing Him keeps Him there. That’s what we want this Lent. We want Jesus to be the center of our lives. Get this, we want to need Him.
Maybe you’ve already realized it, but that need for Jesus in our hearts is more often created during times when there’s suffering, pain or brokenness. Those moments when we feel burdened and the weight is crushing us is when we can say, “I need Jesus.” When we become more aware of our failings and sinfulness is when we can only say, “I need Jesus.”
And do you realize how wonderful that is? Because if we need Jesus, everything changes. That is the irony of our faith. When we’re weak, we’re strong. When we don’t have anything but Jesus, we have everything.
Jesus wants to be your everything. He’s asking you, daughter, do you want Me or do you need Me?
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About Darcie Nielsen
Darcie is a wife and mom of two little girls. Before she met her husband, Christian, she discerned religious life with a community. She now splits her time between working as a Catholic religious advisor at a secular college and a marketing director for a distribution company. She was the Director of the Catholic apostolate Live the Fast for three years and is still on the board. Darcie loves to share her journey in the faith and her writing can also be found at www.mysoulproclaims.org.