“lf you had known me, you would have known my Father also.” This verse from John 14 begins with five words that make all the difference. What if we take these five words and hold them closely as we begin this new year? What if we decide that Jesus is where we hold our focus, even on the days we are overwhelmed and overworked? And then ask, how can we remain in Jesus when life tugs at us and our people need us? Let’s find out together.
If You Had Known Me When …
If you had known me when I was in my twenties, you would see a very different person. I knew Jesus or I thought I did and I went to church. I married at age twenty-three and knew that faith was an important component of marriage, but going to church weekly and following the “rules” is not enough. Instead of deepening my relationship with Jesus, I sacrificed a relationship with Jesus. My life moved along, but not very well. I had no idea. My church was legalistic and I believed I was doing all of the right things.
If you had known me when I was in my forties, a transformation was beginning to take place on so many levels. It was a time wrought with beautiful beginnings and heart-wrenching endings. It was sweet, sorrowful, and filled with moments where I was holding on for dear life.
- A marriage ended
- A relationship with Jesus began
- Church became a time of discipleship and mentorship
- I learned who I was and whose I was
- My teenage sons led the way for me in turning my focus to Jesus
If you know me now, I hope you know how much I love Jesus. I pray you find encouragement in this space and the hope of the One who loves you without end. My life is filled with immense blessings from the Father and many life lessons that led me to today. It is a journey of obedience, surrender, and allowing God to go before me.
How Do We Get There?
How do we get there? Maybe it should say, “where is there?” This is what I am asking myself these days. I am pausing more often and paying attention to the lessons and words of the Father. I am choosing to look to God before I rely on myself. This is and always will be a work in progress. Instead, of letting myself get carried away by busy and adding more to my days, I am leaning intentionally into more quiet time. It is the one self-imposed gift of the pandemic that I am loving and carrying forward.
My journey is mine and probably does not match yours. That’s okay. I’m hoping we can agree that when I ask, “where is there?” we settle on Jesus as the answer. I want my focus to land on Jesus–today, tomorrow, and all of my days. How does that resonate with you?
If our focus is on Jesus and we choose to spend time with Him, then presence and intentionality naturally follow. If we find ourselves making space for God throughout the day, then we become better listeners. And, if we become better listeners, we are able to shine our light for Jesus and become truth-tellers for those around us.
What Does Jesus Say?
Let’s go back and read the words from John 14 in context. This is what it says:
Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. 7 If you had really known me, you would know who my Father is.[c] From now on, you do know him and have seen him!” John 14:6-7
Jesus proclaims these words as comfort to His disciples. Thomas is still questioning and doubting, but Jesus is reassuring him and the rest of the disciples that He has prepared many rooms in His Father’s house. There is room for the disciples and those who believe in Him.
Jesus leaves us with three ways that lead to the Father.
- I am the way. It is easy to lose our way and to find that we have lost sight of what direction we are going, but turn back to Jesus and He will show you the way.
- I am the truth. Our world is shouting messages at us and the louder they shout the more we believe we should embrace the truth of the world. Jesus is the truth. Reading God’s Word, worshiping, living in community with like-minded believers, and sharing who Jesus is draws us closer to who God calls us to be.
- And, I am the life. Jesus is the bread of life. “Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” John 6:35.
Come to Jesus whether you are sad, hope-filled, depressed, weary, confident, or lonely. He is waiting for you with open arms.
What are some ways you keep your focus on Jesus?