Jesus will never leave me.
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“I am the vine, you are the branches.
If a man remains in me and I in him,
he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
The Sunday after my dad died, my cousin greeted me with a hug and said, “Now both you and Margaret are truly orphans.” What did she mean? That both my wife and I have now lost both our parents, we are bereft of parents here on this earth.
It was a sobering thought. I could never again call up my mom and chat, never again go to my dad for advice. There would be no more retelling of the old family stories, no more of the familiar greetings. I was an orphan.
Jesus is different. Jesus will not leave me as an orphan. He is not leaving me. If I abide in Him, He will not leave me. In fact He will nurture me and grow in me the fruit of His love and mercy.
My parents gave me my earthly life. And now they are gone. But Jesus gives me eternal, abundant life and that life is available to me every day, all day, forever. He knows my need to be connected, to have Someone who is always there, who does not leave.
The vineyard in this picture is just outside my front door in Oregon. We have used that vineyard as a backdrop to take family pictures of our whole extended family. One of those pictures is above my desk as I write this devotion. But now faces in those pictures are gone and I will not see them again until I too, enter the presence of our Lord.
Jesus is the True Vine and I am a branch grafted into Him through Baptism and faith. Although I experience grief and loss and bereavement here on this earth, although those I love best may leave me, Jesus will not leave. He has a hold on me, and He will not let me go. He will not leave me as an orphan.
“I am Jesus’ little lamb, Ever glad at heart I am;
For my Shepherd gently guides me, Knows my need and well provides me,
Loves me every day the same, Even calls me by my name.”
Lord Jesus, thank you that you never leave me alone. Comfort me when I feel like an orphan. Thank you for never letting me go. Love me with your life giving love today and every day. Amen.
Text and Picture Copyright Steve Nickodemus