Jesus said, “I have said these things to you to keep you from stumbling. They will put you out of the synagogues. Indeed, an hour is coming when those who kill you will think that by doing so they are offering worship to God. And they will do this because they have not known the Father or me. But I have said these things to you so that when their hour comes you may remember that I told you about them.
“I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you. But now I am going to him who sent me; yet none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your hearts. Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will prove the world wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: about sin, because they do not believe in me; about righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will see me no longer; about judgment, because the ruler of this world has been condemned.
“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine. For this reason I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.” John 16:1-15
I am one of those people that never had super balance and after four back surgeries I have to be careful walking sometimes. If I look down and make sure there are no obstacles, I can keep from falling but never look up to see what's ahead. And if I am careless, I can miss the raised brick or stone and trip. Being human means facing challenges no matter how athletic, faithful and coordinated we are. Our carefulness can hide us from the vulnerability and need of others. Living in these human bodies and the very human world, is truly a daily struggle.
Jesus understood his own humanity and that of the disciples. He loved them and wanted to protect them and knew he couldn't. He offered them help along the way and the promise of the Spirit. They were normal, weak and challenged human beings like all of us. And indeed, he promises to help us through our stumbling and worries, and to send help as we go. We cannot avoid every down fall, trap and pitfall, but we can offer them up to God, knowing that we are never alone or without guidance in our struggle.
Today I ask God to help guide my feet and my heart. May we live with trust in God's near presence and be bold as we love. May we offer up our fears and worries, so that we can have space for the Holy Spirit, which is transforming our broken offerings into real blessings.