Life is often a struggle and sometimes it is dangerous. There are many things that can cause us to stumble and it’s easy to be afraid of what is “out there.”

But the way of Jesus is one that calls us to risk, to dare, to take a chance. This is the way Jesus lived and the path to which he calls us.

It’s good to know that, all along the way, we are covered and cared for, protected by the Spirit of God. Whether or not you are feeling vulnerable right now, trust in the Spirit to watch over you.

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"All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them. And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one."

John 17:10–11

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It’s the last night that Jesus is with his disciples. Dinner is done and Judas has left the building. All that Jesus has time left for is a prayer.

Jesus’ prayer reminds me of a little girl I know. When she colors, she keeps all the markers close to herself. When she plays, she keeps a pile of toys on her lap. When she rides, she rides on one tricycle and pulls another along by hand. I don’t know if this tendency to hold so tightly to things makes her feel protected, or powerful, or comfortable, or special. I do know that she often plays alone.

In this prayer, Jesus recalls that God’s people were all given to him, and that he gave those beloved people right back to God. He then prays that the people he’s about to leave behind will have the same spirit of oneness that binds himself and God. Jesus understands that protection, power, peace, and love don’t come from things; they come from oneness with God and each other.

Julie Ball

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God who goes before all things and in whom all things are held together (Colossians 1:17), fill my heart with oneness today. Amen.

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Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who are being protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

1 Peter 1:3-5

Julie Ball

Julie Ball lives with her family in Memphis, Tennessee, where she wears many hats: mom, wife, writer, teacher, musician, lifelong learner, and cupcake connoisseur. Julie shares her thoughts and experiences on her blog, Meeting God in Memphis.

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