The group UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund) estimates that there are currently 26 million double-orphans living in the world. The term “double-orphan” refers to those children who have lost both parents. No matter which country you’re in, questions are alive in the heart of a double-orphan. What will I eat? What will I wear? What if I get sick? Who’s going to protect me? Why did this happen to me? And – even if somehow I can make it through today – what about tomorrow? And will this ever change?
A double-orphan has far more questions than answers. It’s hard to cope with life that way.
The night before he died, Jesus knew his disciples would soon have far more questions than answers as they’d watch him be arrested, taunted, tortured and murdered. He knew they’d feel like double-orphans. They’d be asking themselves, “Jesus is gone – where do we go? What do we do? Did we put our faith in the right place…or have we wasted our time for three years following him?”
Even though it was the night before he died, Jesus was thinking about them. He wanted answers to be alive in their hearts, not questions. He wanted them to have confidence that he was living, dying and rising for them; and that their future also meant living, dying and rising. Yes, Jesus was going away – but it wouldn’t be forever. They’d have a happy reunion after Easter – and ultimately an eternally happy reunion in the mansions of heaven. They’d be separated for a time, but then UNITED. They’d be sad for awhile, but then THRILLED. They’d have some lonely days, but then find SATISFACTION. Earthly life would still have some questions, but the final chapter would be a big, bold answer: “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you…and because I live, you also will live (John 14:18-19)”
Do you feel separated, sad or lonely today? Are there more questions than answers alive in your heart? Here is some great news: in Christ, you will never be an orphan. Jesus is close to you, not far, during the chapters of your life. And even though you don’t know exactly what those chapters of life will bring, you can be sure that your final chapter equals thrilling satisfaction of heaven.
And whether it’s now, or the future…you are never an orphan.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for not leaving me to fend for myself in this difficult world. Thank you for not leaving me to cover the cost of my own sinfulness. You have not, and will never, leave me as an orphan, and let that fact never grow stale in my soul. Amen.