It was a strange year.

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I was a sophomore in college when my grandmother passed away.  Just a few months earlier, my grandfather passed away.  Those were some odd and difficult days.  Although I only saw my grandparents a few times a year, I enjoyed the time I had with them.  I knew they loved me, and they always made me feel special.  To lose both felt so…empty.

Yet, at their funerals, I felt far more hope than sadness.  They were no longer frail, sick, or in pain.  But when they went home to be with Jesus, their earth suits were laid down, and their Heavenly bodies were given to them.  While death’s dark clouds hung over me, the light of Jesus’ hope broke through.

The disciples had been enduring a very strange night where the dark clouds had gathered, and it was raining in their hearts. Gathered around the triclinium with their Master, the disciples listened to Jesus telling them He was going away and they wouldn’t be able to go with Him now.

They would be hated for their faith.  They would be persecuted for their faith.  The grief in the air must have been thick and heavy—like dark, billowing smoke obscuring the hope they had placed in Jesus.

Yet, Jesus said that the smoke would clear because He would give the gift of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, Who would testify about Jesus and blow the billowing smoke away.  Jesus didn’t leave them without comfort.  And He doesn’t leave you without comfort. 

We read in John 16:16-19:

Jesus went on to say, “In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me.”
At this, some of his disciples said to one another, “What does he mean by saying, ‘In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me,’ and ‘Because I am going to the Father’?”  They kept asking, “What does he mean by ‘a little while’? We don’t understand what he is saying.”
Jesus saw that they wanted to ask him about this, so he said to them, “Are you asking one another what I meant when I said, ‘In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me’?  

John 16:16-19
New International Version

There was about to come a time for these disciples when they would not see Jesus.  He would be crucified and placed in a borrowed tomb.  Keep this passage in the context of this is the Last Supper.  This is Thursday night.  In just a few hours, Judas’ betrayal will be completed.  Jesus would be crucified tomorrow.  But all THEY understood was that He was going away.

They didn’t understand all this “departure talk” Jesus kept using this night.  They were also confused by Him saying, “after a little while you will see me.”  How confusing!  He’s leaving?  Then coming back?  From a trip?!  It made a strange night even more perplexing.

Jesus knew of the hurt and confusion in their hearts.  He wasn’t limited to their words; He knew their most intimate thoughts and emotions.  After all, He formed them in their mother’s wombs and knew the number of hairs on their head.  He knew them FAR better than they knew themselves.

From their perspective, it could have been clearer.  And Jesus wasn’t trying to get them to understand it all at this point.  He wants them to embrace Him.  He was enough for them right now. 

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Beloved by the Lord, we can soar because we HAVE seen Jesus!  On that wonderful day He took residence in your heart, He “appeared” to YOU.  He has revealed Himself to YOU through the Holy Spirit. He rose in your heart in victory over sin, and His resurrection became YOUR resurrection.  His life became YOUR life.

We can soar because we may suffer for a little while, but we have seen Jesus as the Risen Lord in our hearts!  At the end of it all, Jesus has been and will always be there.

You can soar because if you are a disciple of Jesus, you have seen the miracle of Jesus in your soul.  His light breaks through the darkest clouds.