On my office wall, I have a picture of my dad. He passed away at the age of 94. In my whole life, I never met anyone that exceeded Dad’s commitment to Christ’s declaration “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments…” (John 14:15).
It was Dad’s commitment that led this WWII soldier to stop in a small town in Oklahoma to go to church while on leave. There he met his future wife, my mother.
So, yes, I have Dad’s picture as well as many of his Sunday School lessons and margin notes in his study Bible, but I no longer have Dad with me. I have what I have but I long to once again spend time with him. That day will come, but for now, his voice is silent. That’s not the way Jesus left us.
Jesus is Emmanuel (Mt. 1:23), which means “God with us.” He gave us a wonderful promise which we find in one of the most profound passages in the whole Bible, John 14:15-18, “If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth…I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you…”
I have a living relationship with Jesus. We talk. He with me and I with Him and through the Holy Spirit I learn to follow the commands of Jesus, many times too slowly. Obedience is the desire of Jesus. Obedience is the way I am supposed to show my love for Jesus, and that is what I saw in Dad. “Obedience is the very best way to show that you believe.” (children’s’ song)
For now, I have Dad’s picture and notes. Within this material world, I am an orphan, but within the Spirit, I am not alone for Jesus didn’t leave me as an orphan. (John 14:18) And, the same is for you; if you’ve accepted Jesus, then you are not an orphan.
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, you are good to me. You know my needs and the desires of my heart. You know my mistakes, yet when I repent, you forgive. Thank you. My soul rejoices in You with “an inexpressible and glorious joy” (1 Peter 1:8). Though Mom and Dad are gone, I have not been left an orphan because your Son, Emmanuel, arose from the dead and is alive! And in me, the Holy Spirit is with me and in me. Through Jesus, I have access to you, my Father. My joy is complete; I am content. Amen.