“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?
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It’s so great to “see” you here again, Mary, and to read the insightful lessons God has taught you through struggles in life. This especially resonates in my heart – “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.” Love and blessings to you!
It is so good to see you too, Trudy. I have missed hanging out in this space. I love when God is faithful to give us reminders from various sources of His love and goodness. I pray you are doing well.
My journey has been full of twists and turns too, Mary. I’m currently in the middle of a bottleneck in the road even now. I don’t like it, but I am grateful that Jesus never requires me to walk this path alone. Thanks for your encouraging words here about his faithfulness along the way.
I am shaking my head in agreement that Jesus never leaves us alone. That is how I maneuver the twists and turns. Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. It’s good to see you.
It’s lovely to see you in this space again. 🤗
My theme of Focus this year in Christ, that God has highlighted to me, is Ask & intentional (Ask with intent).
I was given the opportunity by God last week to put this into action on a very important real life situation which entailed surrender.
And He graciously answered that ‘Asking with intent’ within two hours of that prayerful surrender! Praising Him!
Remember you’re most welcome to join me in a cuppa at Tea With Jennifer,
It’s lovely to see you too. How wonderful that God not only gave you your focus but allowed it to play out as soon as you requested it in prayer. He is so good. I am sure that asking with intent will provide many more opportunities for you.
Mary, I recently shared about becoming better listeners and that is why this line so resonated with me: “… if we become better listeners, we are able to shine our light for Jesus and become truth-tellers for those around us.” I am so grateful the Lord is with us in every stage of our lives, changing us so that His light shines through us.
I love how God connects what we write about and are learning with other writers. It’s one of my favorite things about this community. I am also grateful that we love a God who cares more about our lives than we can imagine. It’s so good to see you!
Wonderful how Jesus meets us at all stages of our lives, and in every single one, he extends the invitation to know him better. This is certainly a time of adjustment for me, and yet I’m trusting for each step.
I am thankful too that Jesus not only has been with me since I was born, but also continues to show me what it looks like to know Him better. You have lots of changes and transitions in your life, but you can rest in knowing that God is walking each one with you. Love you friend!