“A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also. At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.” Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, “Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?” Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me.” John 14:19-24
Last night, I stayed overnight with a friend who had surgery. I was glad she asked me to come over and be there for her–just in case. I started thinking again about how important it is for us to meaningfully be with those around us, for our presence not to bring them down into a cesspool, but for our presence to encourage or assure them. Perhaps we cannot be physically present to all of our friends or people around us, but are we the kind they can call anytime of day or night? Or do we keep people at arm’s length? Are we dependable? Do we bring life and refreshment to those around us? In John 14, Jesus says that he and the Father will make their home with us (his believers). The triune God fellowships with us and in us. That is hard to grasp. But Jesus speaks of communion. He communes with us as individuals and as the church. Have you ever thought about how important your presence is? It has the power to give life or to destroy. It has the power to comfort or make uneasy.
Perhaps you are lonely for some reason–desiring the gift of presence. You sense God’s presence but would like the presence of a human companion. One way to receive the gift of presence is to let others know that you are lonely. And also to serve them. Gift them with your presence first. It may mean writing a card, making a phone call, sending an e-mail, or visiting. It could mean leaving a comment on a blog like this one.
Many godly people have bestowed on me the gift of their presence and Christ’s presence. And in the process, I have been transformed for the better.
To those of you who are present with me online but not in person, please know that I am continually encouraged by you…by your words and thoughts. You have in some way been Christ to me.
Thank you for the gift of your presence.