just open your eyes

I was asked to create a print for someone who has a friend adopting in the coming months. The request for John 14:18 was just so perfect to me – because as this family adopts, there’s the reminder that we are all adopted into the family of Christ. That we were once cast out, orphaned, unredeemable when left to our own efforts – BUT Christ, rich in love and mercy, offers us adoption into His family through His blood. What a perfect example of grace. And so this print came to life – the happy colors, the sweet reminder of His goodness.

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So this weekend I have been contemplating that promise. Earlier in this chapter, Philip asked Jesus to Show them the Father – and that would be enough for them. This sounds like a valid request! Show us God, He is enough, we want to see Him! Yet Christ answers in a correcting tone – he says, don’t you realize, I’m right here? You’re looking for one thing, something other than the answer in front of you, but I’ve been here all along – and I AM THE WAY. I and the Father are one. I go with him, and when you know me you know him. But this had been lost on the disciples. Despite the constant explanations and hints of what was to come, they couldn’t comprehend the truth that He was proclaiming.

This guarantee to come back, not to leave them as orphans, seems even more fitting here. They were about to lose their Savior, about to see Him ascend into Heaven and all of a sudden their daily lives would change. They would no longer have Him face to face, sharing meals and telling parables – they would recognize that He was no longer there. And even though He would be doing good work, surely they would feel the absence of His presence.

I think we do this often! We ask God – where are you? Show us yourself! I was seeing you in this certain way before – but now things have changed, and I’m not feeling your presence and I don’t see you and it’s not enough. I need you!

And so often, His answer is “Don’t you see?” Look right in front of you. I’ve given you myself.  Maybe it looks different (like the Holy Spirit) and maybe you missed it before (like Philip) but I’m right there with you. You are not an orphan, you are not forgotten. You just have to open your eyes. Look for me.

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I haven’t left you, and you are not alone. I will come again, but my Holy Spirit is there now as a guarantee. Don’t be blinded by what you don’t have and miss the goodness I’ve poured out for you. There’s hope of what’s to come, of that which we cannot see – but we can’t miss the promise in front of us, today.

I needed this reminder, this gentle correction from Christ. I’ve been asking Him to show up in certain ways, and all along He’s been there at work in the ways I was blind to. He is the way, the truth, the life… He is enough already – it just requires a shifting perspective to find Him when we’ve been looking the wrong direction.

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