April 9 | John 16:25-33
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Keep Your Finger on the Pulse
by Mary Alice McGinnis
When I was a little girl, I had a strange fear. If anyone knows the children's’ prayer, “Now I lay me down to sleep,” there was one phrase that terrified me as a child . . .
“If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take . . .”
I can remember lying in my bed after praying this prayer with my mother. The room was dark and quiet. All I could hear was the sound of my 4-year-old heart beating, and it frightened me!!
I kept thinking, “Is my heart going to keep beating? What if it doesn’t? I need to keep listening to make sure my heart does not stop beating.”
In today’s reading, Jesus is having a sort of “bedtime” discussion with His beloved disciples. He is telling them before He leaves to “go back to His Father” about all the things that are about to take place. It frightened them.
Jesus tells them, “No, the Father Himself loves you because you have loved Me and have believed that I came from God. I came from the Father and entered the world; now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father.” (John 16:27-28)
They responded by saying, “We now believe.” They total misunderstood. They thought Jesus was saying that because they loved Jesus, God the Father would love them. They were setting their focus and confidence on their own strength, love and dedication to Jesus. This was incredibly shaky ground.
I love how the commentator, David Gudzik, explains this:
“A pulse doesn’t make the heart pump, but it is evidence of it. Our love for God doesn’t make Him love us, but it is evidence that He loves us.” (Enduring Word Commentary By David Guzik)
Let that sink in.
Just like my 4-year-old self, trying to stay awake to listen for my heartbeat did not make it keep beating. That would be impossible.