That’s my parting gift to you. Peace. I don’t leave you the way you’re used to being left – feeling abandoned, bereft. So don’t be upset. Don’t be distraught. – John 14
When my daughter was in third grade she had a panic attack. She had some underlying medical issues and that year and we had spent a ton of time in the ER. She was so scared and nervous of the unknowns. Her panic attack was the result of those worries.
Unfortunately we were unaware at the time that this was happening. She had come to me complaining that her chest hurt and she couldn’t breathe. Within minutes she was having a very hard time catching her breath and her heart was racing. That’s when my panic set in. I was terrified and lost sight of what could be happening. I thought the worst so I demanded my husband call 911. He tried to calmly evaluate the situation with questions. Neither my daughter nor myself were having any of that. She was begging us to please call for help and I was screaming: “JUST CALL 911”!
The first to respond were the fire fighters. As soon as they entered the house, my fear came down a notch. Their presence alone was calming me down because they were so calm and quiet. They talked to my daughter about where she went to school, what grade she was in, who her teacher was. All while keeping track of her oxygen levels and providing her with an oxygen mask. I realize now, it was a beautiful distraction to get her to stop worrying about her breathing and to concentrate on something else.
Then the police came. He asked a few questions of the fire fighters and calmly made small talk with us. Then the paramedics came. By the time they showed up, my daughter was breathing pretty normally. The policeman left. And the fire fighters would soon follow.
The paramedics were calm and reassuring us everything was going to be alright. I remember how the woman EMT asked us a few questions and very gracefully let us know that this was nothing to be scared of. That it was just a panic attack. That everything would be just fine.
In our story today; The Spirit of Truth, Jesus wants his children to know that everything is going to be just fine. That he is only going to be with them for a bit longer but that he is going to provide us with God’s Spirit when he leaves.
“If you love me, show it by doing what I’ve told you. I will talk to the Father, and he’ll provide you another Friend so that you will always have someone with you. This Friend is the Spirit of Truth. The godless world can’t take him in because it doesn’t have eyes to see him, doesn’t know what to look for. But you know him already because he has been staying with you, and will even be in you!
“I will not leave you orphaned. I’m coming back. In just a little while the world will no longer see me, but you’re going to see me because I am alive and you’re about to come alive. At that moment you will know absolutely that I’m in my Father, and you’re in me, and I’m in you…
“I’m telling you these things while I’m still living with you. The Friend, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send at my request, will make everything plain to you. He will remind you of all the things I have told you. I’m leaving you well and whole. That’s my parting gift to you. Peace. I don’t leave you the way you’re used to being left – feeling abandoned, bereft. So don’t be upset. Don’t be distraught.
It is that Spirit that is with us now because Jesus could no longer be there then. What a gift that we should treasure and hold close to our hearts. I know during times like this where we have more questions then answers, it can be very easy to become upset and distraught. It can be very easy to let our fears overcome our rational thoughts. It can be easy to forget the Spirit that is the light of comfort inside of us. That Spirit is what provides that overwhelming feeling of Peace if we just let it. The Spirit is just like that Fire Fighter and the EMT worker that came to our house. The Spirit will calm you with it’s presence and allow you to really feel God in action. To really feel that peace. Not peace that the world provides you, but the peace that is beyond human understanding. Just a peace that you can feel and have faith in. Step back from your tv’s, telephones, and computers and breath it in. Feel it. Have faith in it.
Everything will be just fine.