As we sat around the table, all at once I could feel a hush
as they considered what I had just said.
Every week, I lead a Bible study group at a local shelter for battered women and their children. I had felt strongly that I needed to begin teaching about the fatherhood of God, as many of these women had had poor examples of a father, which influenced their view of God the Father. We were all reading from John 14, where Jesus describes his relationship with his Father. Until now the ladies had been interacting, commenting to one another on different details of the study.
But then I read verse 18, and all of us felt the truth of it sink in:
I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.
I had prefaced the passage by asking them about their fathers. Of about a dozen, a couple of them never knew their father, several commented that their fathers had been violent and abusive. Only a couple had grown up with a loving, secure relationship with their father.
Reading this verse brought to the surface the deep feelings in most of them that they had been in fact fatherless, and gave them new hope in deepening this relationship with their heavenly Father. I saw a few tears as I shared about the differences between the father that they had experienced and the One that they were now learning about.
The same way that we can feel alone in a crowd, we can feel abandoned in the midst of relationships. No human relationship can even come close to supplying the need we have for God, but when we are in touch with His love, guidance and provision all our other relationships can come into focus.
We have Jesus’ promise: “I will not leave you as orphans.” He goes on to say, “…you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.” That’s real intimacy.
Have you entered into this deep fellowship with our Father and His intense love for you?