“Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am he.” (John 4:26)
Jesus, you grab our attention and startle us as the one speaking directly to us in the midst of an ordinary day. You are the “I am he” addressing us as clearly as you dialogued with the Samaritan woman beside the well all those years ago. Here in our everyday surroundings you remind us, “I who speak to you am he.” You are fully present with us; you haven’t changed.
You teach that “All Scripture is breathed out by God and is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16). You speak plainly through your Word – you teach, point out our wrong behavior, and train us to do right because you want us to be completely prepared, equipped, strengthened. You exhale your Word and allow us to inhale, absorb, and experience its transforming power.
Everywhere we look in Scripture we learn that you are close. “The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing” (Zephaniah 3:17). Lord, you promise that you are beside us, close enough to quiet us with your love and to celebrate us with songs. We are accustomed to celebrating you with our songs. How amazing to picture you doing that for us!
Lord, thank you for communicating in ages past through prophets, visions, and writing on walls. You revealed your presence through fire and flames, angels and dreams. But then you sent Jesus as the Word incarnate and spoke more loudly and clearly than ever before. You are still our pillar of cloud by day and pillar of fire by night will who “not depart from before the people” (Exodus 13:22). You extended your protective arms to cover the Israelites from the scorching sun and provided a canopy of fire to ward off wild animals and provide warmth against the desert chill. You “who went before them” still go ahead of us today. “I am right here,” you tell us, “watching over you, protecting you from harm, sustaining you in the dark, providing for your particular needs.”
“Who is the man who fears the LORD? Him will he instruct in the way that he should choose. His soul shall abide in well-being, and his offspring shall inherit the land. The friendship of the LORD is for those who fear him, and he makes known to them his covenant” (Psalm 25:12-14).
Elizabeth A Mitchell