Sometimes, you just need a fallback position. When everything around you seems like shifting sand, when nothing seems predictable, when you find yourself waiting for another shoe to drop (and realizing that whoever’s wearing those shoes has way more than two feet), it’s then you need to reclaim your solid ground. It’s then you need to find the space to remember what’s true in order to have some context for what’s traumatic. To reorient to the transcendent before taking on today. Such a bottom-line reality hit my radar this morning. Thus, I’m chewing on the reminder that I am not an orphan.
And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. You know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”
(John 14:16-18 ESV)
I will not leave you as orphans. That’s a promise to claim.
Jesus was preparing His disciples for what they were realizing with dread was to come. But until they walked through it, they really couldn’t imagine what it all would entail. They knew in their heads that Jesus was going to die, but they couldn’t reconcile in their hearts why the Messiah must die. What lay ahead of them over the next few hours, days, months, and years was beyond their ability to prepare for. There’s a lot you don’t know about the future, says Jesus, but know this, “I will not leave you as orphans.”
I will come to you. I will come to you through another Helper. One just like Me. One I will ask the Father to send to you. One who will dwell with you and live in you. One who will be with you forever. The Spirit of truth. Thus, you will never be on your own. You will never have to go it alone. I will not leave you as orphans.
For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”
(Romans 8:15 ESV)
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of adoption. No orphans among those He indwells, only sons and daughters. Every child of God not left to power through life alone, but enabled to persevere through the active agency of the Power of Life (Rom. 8:11) within them. What’s more, joined through the Spirit with other never-to-be-orphans, other sons and daughters, bound together in community as family. None left to have to go it on their own.
The Spirit seeks not attention, but only to glorify the Son (Jn. 16:14). He is ever-present, but as the wind (Jn. 3:8). He is the unseen guarantee of life everlasting (Eph. 1:13-14). He is solid ground we can stand on each day. He is the One who ever lives within us ensuring us we are not an orphan.
Thank You, God the Son for asking the Father to send another Helper. Thank You, God the Father, for sending the Spirit to live with us forever. Thank You, God the Spirit, for enabling us, leading us, and keeping us as we walk as children of God.
You are the abiding testimony of God’s grace. You are the abiding power to live for God’s glory.