Stop. Dial down the volume in your life. Breathe deeply, close your eyes, and listen.

Can you hear it, the still small voice?

You are not alone. God is near.

The great I AM is with you — now and always.

Revel in God’s nearness.

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“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. I will ask the Father, and he will send another Companion, who will be with you forever. This Companion is the Spirit of Truth, whom the world can’t receive because it neither sees him nor recognizes him. You know him, because he lives with you and will be with you."

John 14:15-17

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Today’s passage follows verses where Jesus comforts his disciples. His ministry was winding down, and he offered reassurance to some shaky followers. Reassurance from Jesus — the guy who commands the sea, heals the sick, and raises the dead — that’s enough, right? Thomas and Phillip needed more. The prospect of life without Christ was scary.

Jesus responds with a call to hang in there, to “do the works that I do.” He addresses the disciples’ worry with a promise — “I will ask the Father, and he will send another Companion ... the Spirit of Truth.” Jesus’ physical life on earth was ending. He knew the troubles ahead for his followers. He also knew that God, the author of all Creation, could manage their worries.

Jesus used the word “forever” in this passage. That has today covered too. Today’s highs and lows aren’t yours to maneuver alone. The Spirit of Truth is there. Remember, God is near.

Bill Ogletree

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Loving God, take away my worries about this day with the assurance of your presence. Let me live and serve others with the confidence that I am never alone. Amen.

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I know who goes before me

I know who stands behind

The God of angel armies

Is always by my side

from “Whom Shall I Fear” by Chris Tomlin, 2013

Bill Ogletree

Bill Ogletree is a professor at Western Carolina University where he chairs the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. His professional interests center on the communication needs and abilities of people with intellectual disabilities. When not at work, Bill enjoys time with his wife and family, an assortment of pets, and a variety of stringed instruments.

Walking Towards Morning: The Love of God

Ken Medema

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