“I’m leaving you well and whole. That’s my parting gift to you. Peace. I don’t leave you the way you’re used to being left – feeling abandoned, bereft. So don’t be upset. Don’t be distraught.” John 14:27 MSG
Jesus understood. He knew how much the disciples loved him. He also realized they didn’t truly understand why He had come. There were expectations and those expectations were not apart of God’s plan for Jesus.
My heart is tender towards these men who had walked away from so much in their private lives to follow a man that was rocking the world everywhere He went. Such excitement, anticipation and intrigue. They were making plans. And Him leaving them was not apart of the strategy.
Jesus knew they would feel abandoned. But…
There is a difference between leaving and being left.
Jesus was leaving them but He had not left them. What He knew, they could not see through the confusion and their feelings of disappointment. He would always be near through the person of the Holy Spirit – The Comforter and Counselor.
Jesus promises peace. He promises to never leave us or forsake us. Then why do we feel forgotten and alone? As I write I am praying. God, I know you don’t abandon us but we feel abandoned sometimes.
I don’t want to pat you on the head and say something real churchy and quote a few scriptures when I know some of you, just like me, have felt distraught, deserted and filled with anxiety. You might be feeling that way today.
During these times I have to pull from within and rely on what I know, not what I feel. Do I still “feel” like I have been left – forgotten? Most often I do. Some of the reason for that could be that my situation may not have changed. The situation the disciples would face after Jesus’ ascension would be not be better. It would be more intense. Jesus was preparing them for the feelings He knew they would experience. He made sure it was recorded in the Bible because He can identify with the feeling of abandonment. He wanted to assure us that we have not been left alone.
If you are feeling left today, Jesus understands. I understand. I have cried out many times, where in the world are You God! Hold on. Take a breath and look for Him everywhere.
He is there. In a scripture someone shares, a hug from a friend, a beautiful song or amazing sunset. He is Jehovah-Shammah – God is there.