“I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Can you imagine the impact those final words must have had on the first-century disciples? The emotional roller coaster they had experienced in recent days had been turbulent. They had been grieved by the crucifixion of the one they believed to be the Messiah. They were startled but encouraged by Jesus’ resurrection appearances, and yet some were still doubtful (Matt. 28:17). They had been humbled and overwhelmed by the idea that they were to complete His mission of discipling the nations. The promise of His unlimited presence may have been both heartening and confusing. How could He be with them always?
Presence is powerful! My childhood bedroom was in the back of the house. A weeping willow tree grew not far from my window. Our security light was behind the tree, which meant that the shadow of those willowy branches often invaded my room. When the wind would howl, those branches would create a cast of shadowy creatures that would run across the floor and duck under my bed. I would call out to my dad, and he would shout back words of encouragement. While that helped, it didn’t compare with his presence. When he opened the door and sat on the side of my bed, all the creatures were banished from sight.
All was well!
–Ken Hemphill, Unlimited
Good Questions Have Groups Talking are available that go along with Ken Hemphill’s book, Unlimited. They are available on Amazon, as well as a part of Good Questions Have Groups Talking Subscription Service.