I did not tell you this at first because I was with you. John 16:4
The first day I left PyelotBoy at nursery (UK; US: pre-school), I wondered how he would fare and if he would be lonely or afraid. My husband and I had tried to prepare him for the good things to come, such as new friends, engaging play, and increased independence. But I hadn’t prepared myself for the wrenching separation I felt as I realised that this was merely the start of a long journey of releasing my son. A few years on, we’re both back from a week away, and I try not to ply him with too many questions, so eager I am to hear all about his school trip.
I wonder if Jesus felt any of this sadness as he prepared his disciples to be apart from him. He knows of the trials that are ahead – not only for him but for them – so he warns them of things to come. Indeed, shortly after this conversation Jesus is arrested and brought before the high priest. He will no longer be with them physically, but he will give them an amazing life-changing gift – his very presence living in them through the indwelling of his Holy Spirit.
We never need to be far from Jesus, for he lives within us. his presence changes us, helping us to forgive the gossiping friend, to love the colleague we find difficult, to trust when we are feeling helpless and alone, to release our children into his care. In the words of the sixteenth-century monk, Brother Lawrence, we need only to pause and “practice the presence of God.” He is with us.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, I thank you that through you I live and move and have my being. Transform me, I pray.