Ran across this picture recently. This may be the only picture I have of my nuclear family before the D-Bomb hit. I am in the plaid shirt. I guess I am about 7 or 8 and my folks would divorce when I was 10 or 11. On this day on our brown couch we had no idea of what was about to unfold. At least I didn’t. I love the innocence of the pic. I would grow up with very little interaction with my dad and would move out of my mom’s home when I was 16 because an abusive step-father. They don’t teach you much about dealing with divorce in “how to be a kid” school.
Another things that they don’t teach you in “how to be a kid” school is how to react when both of your parents die. Lately, every time I turn around I hear the story of someone who has lost a parent. Having experienced this first hand with my Mom (Charlotte) who died in 2012 and my Dad (Charles) who died in 2014, there are days when I struggle with the realization that I am an orphan. Divorce is bad enough but being an orphan is tough.
I am an independent sort and a child of divorce (maybe those go hand in hand). And even though I didn’t have a very dependent relationship with my folks I don’t like being an orphan. I don’t like being all alone- and I am a 55 year old man. I have a great family and a lot of close friends but the absence of my parents still throws me out of kilter.
This disconcerting feeling is what the disciples were feeling in John 14.
In John 14, there is a staggering revelation (at least to me). Jesus is engaged with His disciples and is working through with them the reality that He is leaving soon. This is obviously very disturbing to them and they were grappling with the prospects of being without Him. So Jesus begins to let them know about His exit strategy. Look at the verses.
16 “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; 17 that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.
Jesus is sending the Holy Spirit. He is sending a Helper who will be with them. This I knew. But He goes on…
18 “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.
Jesus will also come to them. I think I knew this but in the context of the Holy Spirit coming I hadn’t thought about the both of them being with them – the daily double. But He goes on…
23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.
What? The Father is coming to them too? The trifecta- Father, Son and Holy Spirit committing to play a role in the disciples lives after Jesus’ death, resurrection and ascension back to His rightful place in the Universe at the right hand of God the Father.
As believers in the gospel, we too can be assured of the presence of the Trinity in our lives. Particularly if we live out God’s purposes in our lives.
I don’t know how that hits you but as an physical orphan. I like the idea that I don’t have to be a spiritual one too.