This Month’s Reading:
“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”
John 14:18 NASB
One of the earliest memories I have of my father is him coming to my grandmother’s house, where I lived and was being raised by her, to say goodbye. I remember him standing in the doorway and telling me that he was moving back to California. I remember standing there watching him get on his bicycle and pedal down the driveway. I remember running across my grandmother’s lawn, crying, and watching him turn the corner and out of sight. It would be years before I saw or heard from him again. It is a moment frozen in time and is one that brought heartache, confusion, and an intense feeling of rejection into my life.
In John 14, we find Jesus and His disciples in the middle of their dinner conversation at the Last Supper. It was the Passover, so it was a special dinner they had together. It was just them in an intimate setting. Using sanctified imagination, maybe Jesus was taking in every milli-second during that meal. Dinner by candle light with His beloved friends. The smells of delicious food that had such a significant meaning. The sounds of laughter and singing of songs on this special night. Jesus knew the cross was coming and that His friends would be heartbroken, confused, and fearing for their lives in less than twenty-four hours.
He has a conversation with them to encourage them and help prepare them for what is about to happen. One of the things Jesus tells them in this intense, heartfelt, and theologically deep conversation is, “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” John 14:18 (NASB).
How beautiful it is that Jesus specifically tells them this statement.
Having felt as an orphan much of my life, I can tell you it is a very lonely, dark, depressing, place to be. It is a heart full of questions that may never be answered. A heart full of sadness, anger, and frustration. It is a place of fear that the enemy can use again and again to keep someone down and not allow them to walk in the plans and purposes God specifically created them for. It is a place where the constant thoughts that fill the mind, if not addressed appropriately, are “You are not wanted.” “You are not lovable.” “You have no worth.”
While some of us may not have experienced this in our lives, I would venture to guess that many of us have experienced this in our spiritual lives. Have you wrestled with these thoughts in your spiritual life?
“God doesn’t want me because I have done _______.”
“God does not love me because of ______.”
“I have no worth to God because of ______.”
I’ve been there. I’m still there on some days. However, the beauty of this statement that Jesus said to His beloved friends and now to us is this: He will do it. There isn’t any task attached to this directive that Jesus is giving. He will not leave us as orphans. He will come to us. That is the very definition of His name that was prophesied and given at birth: Immanuel—God with us. It was an encouragement to them then, and is now to us.
Jesus knew His disciples were about to go through one of the most difficult experiences of their life. And they had little idea it was coming. Jesus knows about all the difficult experiences you and I have, are currently, and will go through in our lives. It is those difficult experiences that challenge us, refine us, and grow us. And even though at times, we may feel alone and abandoned, we have the truth to stand on firmly that Jesus is with us. He will not leave as orphans, lost and lonely in this world. He has come, is currently with us, and will come again. It is our responsibility to stand on what we know is true, rather than what we feel.
My relationship with my biological father has never been reconciled. But my relationship with my Heavenly Father has been reconciled because of what Jesus did on the cross. I’ve had to deal with my feelings and memories of what has happened in my life that led me to feel as though I was an orphan. I’ve had to learn to stand on what The Bible says about my relationship with my Heavenly Father rather than what my feelings and thoughts say. It is a powerful realization to know that I’m not alone. Never have been. Never will be. In the words of Jesus, “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.” John 14:1 (NASB). Beloved, Jesus sees you. He will not leave you in that dark place. He will come to you and when you ask, you will come to see that He is Immanuel—God with us.
Points to Ponder:
Have you ever felt as an orphan, or experienced a heart full of sadness, anger, frustration, and fear?
What is a memory you have of how Jesus came through for you in the midst of a difficult situation? If you can’t think of one, ask a friend to share their testimony with you.
What are some of the feelings you have when things are difficult? What does God’s Word and truth say about you? Memorize some scripture that is meaningful and powerful to you to meditate on when things are hard and you feel alone.
Megan Sinisi absolutely adores a good cup of coffee, chocolate, and sitting with people to share life stories. She is a native to Las Vegas, born and raised, and has four beautiful children with her handsome husband, Vincenzo. She is a counselor, specializing in the field of addictions, with multiple certifications, both in Nevada and nationally. She directed Nevada’s largest treatment court and has been building her private practice since 2014, acquiring contracts with the City of Las Vegas, City of Henderson, Clark County Special Defender’s Office, and Zappos.com. It is because of her own journey of healing and through her career that she has learned the wounds we have can begin to be healed as we share our stories. She considers it an honor when someone shares their story with her, and hopes that as she shares her stories of victory and healing that others can be inspired, encouraged, and challenged. Megan has a love and fervor for writing and is walking in faith that God is calling her to use that passion and gift for His glory. She is someone who is known for her honesty and transparency that brings light to difficult situations and feelings, and offers hope and encouragement for the journey of life. It is her hope that by sharing her journey, it encourages, challenges, inspires, comforts, and most importantly, shines the light of Jesus and the reality of His love, grace, and mercy. You can find more from Megan at www.meganjsinisi.com And @meganjsinisi on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.