This past Sunday I was reading Daily Light on the Daily Path, a meditation that collects scripture thematically. It takes verses from the Old and New Testaments that share a word or an idea and puts them together poetically each day. The theme of Sunday’s collection was TRUTH. “Sanctify them in your truth; your word is truth.” (John 17:17) The meditation was about being cleaned by, guarded by, fed by truth and it ended with an old favorite; “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31,32)
I thought about the things that were holding me captive that day, the things that I felt enslaved by. My heart longs to be free from burdens, from worry, from sin, from perfectionism. I felt encouraged to think I could figure out the truth and that truth would free me from the heaviness I felt about my heart. I would figure out those truths later, I told myself. I shut the book and headed to church with some hope.
But then Bobby had to take that verse and mess it up for me. He reminded me that the Truth in John 8:32 is not propositional statements. It is that, but it is more than that. And the Word is not Scripture. It is that, but it is more than that. “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Thomas had just asked Jesus, “Lord, how do we know the way?” And Jesus answered, “I am the Way.”
How often do I ask God what to do? “What must I do to be free, to be happy, to be content, to be better? Show me the Way!”
I am the way, daughter. Abide in me. Wrap yourself up in me. “You will know the truth.” Know me. “And the truth will set you free.” I will set you free. I bore your sins in my body on the cross, so that you might die to sins and live for righteousness, by my wounds you have been healed. (1 Peter 2:24)
I cannot free myself with resolutions and truth statements. I cannot free myself with mantras or good habits or trying to do a better job. I can’t free myself at all. All I can do is lie down, open my hands, stand up, offer my heart, and let Jesus look me in the eyes and tell me who he is, who I am.
I can’t believe I want to sidestep Jesus sometimes so that I can get on with my day. It takes too much work. I am too busy to soften my heart. These thoughts must come from hell. “I say to the LORD, “You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you.” (Psalm 16:2)
In the midst of the suffering, the struggle, the pain, the loss. In the midst of the beauty and laughter, Christ is there, and he is looking at you and me. He is standing at the door and knocking.
Lord, help us right now to hear your voice. Help us to open the door.