Wednesday, February 11th

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also.  And you know the way to the place where I am going.”  Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?”  Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”  John 14:1-6


One of the most painful realities of life is that people leave.  Children cry when their parents leave the room, when their parents put them to bed for the night, when their parents head off to work.  Behind their tears is the fear that their parents won’t come back.  The sad truth is, sometimes their parents don’t come back.


Fear of separation.  Fear of abandonment.  These basic fears come back each time we face major changes in our lives.  Will we be OK?  Will we be able to handle a new reality?


Jesus warned them three times.  “We’re going to Jerusalem.  I will be rejected, arrested, humiliated and crucified.  But on the third day, I’ll be back.”  Each time the disciples met those words with misunderstanding and fear.  They didn’t want anything bad to happen to him.  They didn’t want anything bad to happen to themselves.  They didn’t want to be left alone.


So Jesus promises them both that he would always be with them and that he would prepare a place for them, so that where he went, they could come also.


Maybe that is all we need.  The simple reassurance that all will be OK.


Few changes in our lives are as painful or as life altering as people leaving us.  Death.  Divorce.  Distance.  Each time it happens, the pain reaches down to those basic levels of our primordial fears.  Each time it happens, somewhere deep inside we swear that we will never let it happen again.   And a little door to someplace special inside of us slams shut.


But there is a deeper truth. The deeper truth is that we really will be OK.  The disciples would never have been the people God needed them to be had Jesus not left them with his presence even as he left them with his promises.  The deeper truth is that the journey from separation to attachment is how we learn to trust that which is truly trustworthy.


The deeper truth is that faith trumps fear.  That closing one door always opens another.  That life under God always lies on the other side of death.


Let us pray: Gentle Lord, come to us in our deepest fears and bring us consolation and courage.  Come to us when life turns upside down and hold us tight.  Come to us in the face of fearsome change and instill in us awesome faith, that we might know that we’ll be OK.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.


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