No Orphans in the Kingdom
For this devotional, which has been a hard one for me to write, I have used the Amplified version of the Bible, because it includes the different ways that other versions describe or expand on what I hope to share here.
Jesus, in the upper room, is talking to his disciples, and because we can read what he said, he is talking to us, too. In John 14:18 he says, “I will not leave you as orphans [comfortless, bereaved, and helpless]; I will come [back] to you.”
As an adult, I have learned to understand what Jesus was saying, but as a child who was an orphan, I didn’t. I have written in former devotionals about my father dying when I was four and my mother dying when I was eleven. I’ve also written in more detail about the various places and family members I lived with as I was growing up. The ten years from when my mother died and my 21st birthday when I moved out on my own were particularly difficult.
“Do not let your heart be troubled (afraid, cowardly). Believe [confidently] in God and trust in Him, [have faith, hold on to it, rely on it, keep going and] believe also in Me”. John 14:1 AMP
There were many times I was afraid in those years and definitely cowardly in my fear. The only help was that our neighbors took me to church, and, though the aunt and uncle I was living with didn’t go, I was allowed to. It was there that I found a “safe place” for a while each Sunday and sometimes other times in the week.
“And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), to be with you forever—the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive [and take to its heart] because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He (the Holy Spirit) remains with you continually and will be in you”. John 14:16-17 AMP
“Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby)—the Spirit of Truth.” In 1953, there were no people available, either in the church or out of it, who could be any of these descriptions for a grieving, lonely, emotionally and sometimes physically abused orphan living with blood relatives.
My aunt enlisted some of her friends to remind me how grateful I should be that she and my uncle took me in when I had no one else who wanted me.
I was thirteen when I gave my life to Jesus and, as I describe it, “He welcomed this not-so-docile lamb into His fold”. My circumstances did not change, in fact, my aunt got more verbally abusive, but I was still allowed to go to church. Since that time, I have slowly begun to understand and live in his comforting message:
“After a little while the world will no longer see Me, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live also. On that day [when that time comes] you will know for yourselves that I am in My Father, and you are in Me, and I am in you. John 14:18-20 AMP
How about you? In your life story, have you been able to see how God (Father, Jesus and Holy Spirit) are working in you in ways you were not aware of at the time? Take some time to ponder all of John 14:1-31 and ask Him to bring his truth into your life, your mind and heart.