One of the hardest and most privileged things I have ever had to do in my role as a pastor is to help someone who knew they didn't have much time left on this earth to write letters to their young children. At the time that we began this task she had already lost much of her ability to speak and write and so the task of her dictating what she wanted to say took some time - because of this I knew that she chose the most important things to say; she did not want to waste her efforts with stuff that did not matter.
I love John's gospel, but particularly chapters 13-17 because just like the precious letters that my friend wrote to her children, these chapters contain the things that Jesus really wanted to say to His disciples as He knew that His time with them was drawing to a close. Jesus wanted to equip them to continue His ministry after He had gone, but He also wanted to prepare them for what lay ahead as He went to the Cross; He wanted to comfort them.
He overflowed with sympathy for His followers -for us. When the unimaginable awaited Him, He was worried about His disciples. And as the disciples wrestle with the revelation that He must leave them and they cannot go with Him, Jesus comforts them and says:
We don't have to live troubled, agitated or distressed - the Passion Translation tells us don't worry or surrender to your fear. Why? Because we can trust the heart of Jesus towards us and lean into the unfathomable depths of His love. Yes we will face troubles, but we can experience His peace in the midst of them.
Just as Jesus comforted His disciples then, He wants to comfort us now. He has left us His Holy Spirit whom He called The Comforter to teach us and to strengthen us; to remind us of the truth when fear tries to wear us down. Our Jesus, the ultimate Saviour, continually overflowing with sympathy and compassion for us - let's fix our eyes, our thoughts on Him today.
Live today with purpose, Aimee
Jesus, You are an incredible Saviour! Thank You for comforting us and giving us peace that surpasses understanding. I declare that even in the face of trouble I WILL trust You; I will rely on Your strength. Amen.