These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.John 16:33
Here we are—summer is speeding by and a new school year approaches.
There are events in life that parents contemplate as their children grow. Some are anticipated because they are announced before arrival—such as the many attempts by baby to roll over that lead to success, or the cranky baby before the first tooth pops up. Then there are the experiences we think are far into the future and there’s plenty of time to be prepared: Driver’s licenses, high school, college, and marriage. Sons and daughters ready to take on the world, unaware of exactly what that means.
Blink your eyes and you’ll find your baby boy standing there, uncontrollable grin on his face, holding his brand new license, asking the question we dread. “Can I have the keys?”
“I don’t know, can you?” responds the grammar police in your household.
Before you loosen your tight grip on his freedom, you feel compelled to remind him of conversations from his recent past.
Queue “the talk.”
“Wear your seatbelt. Don’t drive over 45. Put your phone away. Pay attention and don’t tailgate. Rolling stops are illegal. If you have the music too loud, you won’t be able to hear emergency vehicles or trains. Let me know when you get there.”
“Ma, I’m only going around the block.”
John 13-17 allows us the privilege of knowing Jesus’ heart before he handed over “the keys” to his disciples. He reminded his beloved friends of all he had taught them over the previous three years. Jesus knew they wouldn’t understand what was about to happen; they would be confused and afraid. Jesus would soon be arrested, beaten, and crucified. We feel the weight of these last words.
He knew these men would need strength for the difficult days ahead. He spoke words that would ring in their hearts and help center them in truth as uncertainty hung like a fog over all they thought they knew.
With all authority, Jesus instructed his closest friends:
Follow my example of servanthood.
Love each other as I have loved you.
Don’t worry; I’m coming back.
I am the Father.
Ask in my name.
Keep my commandments.
The Comforter will be with you.
Remain in me.
The world will hate you.
Life will be difficult.
I tell you these things so you will have peace.
John 17 records Jesus’ prayer that began over 2,000 years ago but didn’t end there. Only through the infinite God the Son could a prayer remain powerful as it traveled outside of time. The Messiah prayed for himself and the completion of God’s plan of salvation. King Jesus prayed for his disciples, desiring their protection because they would remain in the world without him. The Prince of Peace prayed for all believers until the end of time, unifying His people through the Holy Spirit and covering us with a blanket of hope.
Like a long Sunday drive that ends far too soon, parenthood is a journey of twists and turns. What a blessing to know, when we remember His words and walk in them, we carry with us the promise of His presence.
We need not fear handing over the keys.
Oh, and those frantic last minute instructions? The kids are listening and will remember. I mean, after all these years, I can still hear my dad say, “Shelley, try not to throw rocks every time you pull out.”
We need not fear handing over the keys. Shelley Pierce #parenthood #parentsTweet