This Friday Focus on verses from the fourteenth chapter of John’s gospel has hit a chord with me. I’m writing it in the midst of my grief week, as I’m marking the fifth anniversary of my husband’s death. I smile to myself as I realize he passed away on a Wednesday, so by this Friday, I can somehow say, I’ve gotten over the hump — the hardest day — in this week of remembrance.
That’s why I decided I would not lose focus, but press on in continuing this deep dive into Jesus’ words. Not only have we really needed them because of the year of the pandemic, but also because perhaps, you like me, need to be reminded that when grief does strike, God’s right there to give us comfort.
He does not disappoint.
Without further comment, let’s see what Jesus has to say about the matter:
Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”John 14:19-21 (NIV)
I find it interesting that on my grief day, Jesus is preparing the disciples for theirs. Though they couldn’t grasp it yet, soon, they would be hit by a loss of catastrophic magnitude — the crucifixion of their Lord and Master. As if that wasn’t bad enough, even though they would have momentary joy over his resurrection, he would soon leave them for good at the ascension.
But that wasn’t the end of the story: Because I live, you also will live.
Though he would physically leave the earth, he had already told them that his Spirit would come and dwell in them. Remember — no orphans in God’s family.
This would enable them to live on — in this world and the next, for through faith in him, they would know that perfect unity of mind and spirit with God the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. They would know his love and live in obedience out of love for him.
Why does this help me today? Because Jesus’ words remind me of a song that was beloved by a dear pastor-friend who loved my husband and also went to be with Jesus not long after Raouf. It was required singing whenever he preached:
Jesus’ disciples would soon know that Spirit-filled ability to live and courageously face the future. Today, as I pass the five-year mark on my grief journey, I stand confident in the One who holds my future. Life is still worth living…just because He lives.
Are you living today? You can if you put your trust in Jesus, the One who holds your future and makes it all worthwhile.
Grace and Peace