“I don’t know what to say to her,” said one mutual friend.
“You don’t have to say anything,” I countered. “Just offer to help. Take her clothes for the kids, food to eat, and be a shoulder to cry on.”
Another friend, lost a child before birth. Because people are so unsure how to respond, and are so uncertain of words, avoidance is often the painful answer. Losing an unborn baby is no different than losing a child after birth. That little one meant something, maybe everything, to the mother and daddy. They need love, understanding and comfort from all those who call them “friend.”
“I can count my real friends on one hand,” said another, who made bad choices which caused scandal and pain. “I never meant to hurt anyone, but I sure did!” she added. “I feel so awful!” Obviously, this friend is making the observation of “true” friends; those she’s learned who know her well, who are non-judgmental and can count on, even during her darkest days.
Yet if she were to look closely at this handful of “true friends,” and were to ask herself: “How well do I know them, really?” in most cases she’d be surprised to be only able to name superficial reasons why they’re friends. Most people reveal only their best “selves” to those they know. Even married couples often don’t know “all” about their spouses. Sometimes we don’t even know ourselves.
It must’ve been mind boggling to the disciples to consider Jesus’ statement that they really knew God. (John 14:7) How complex a situation! Jesus is God, yet God is his Father. And then to compound it further, with the promise of the Holy Spirit once he (Jesus) is gone from earth.
In today’s world, we have God’s written word to glean infinite wisdom if we but read it. The disciples had Jesus, the living body with whom to learn. He taught them for three years, everything they would need to know to continue the ministry once he returned to the Father. Even with all this teaching, after the crucifixion they were left confused and heartbroken. Their “Master” was no longer with them.
It wasn’t until after the Resurrection they connected the dots! They got it! We do not have Jesus physically walking among us, but we do have the Bible, the Living Word and the Holy Spirit within us. From these we can know, rely, and understand God the Father, God the Son and God the Spirit. But it takes effort. It requires we search the scriptures, be in prayer and listen for His voice, so He can teach us. It takes patience, and faith in what we cannot see.
To know God is all in the heart. When our heart can identify the “Master,” our minds and souls rejoice! We still will have much to learn. It is a never ending process, and will continue until He takes us home or returns. In the meantime, we can “know” God!