I am in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.

John 17: 23

On some days I feel generally out of sorts and disconnected. Simple things become irritating, and innocent words or actions of others become sinister or at least filled with hurtful intent. Now most of the time I can quickly sift the truth and the reality out from the self-based emotional responses. However, some of the time the cloud of ill-functioning feeling and thinking just sticks with me and is very hard to escape. These days are hard to get through. The act of moving ahead and of acting normal consumes a very great amount of energy. On these days hurts become magnified, and my tendency is to turn inward and to become self- absorbed; thus, the negativity feeds itself.

It is my suspicion that I am not alone or singular in my experience of this sort of emotional reality. My own reactions to situations and to people, when viewed from the perspective of the calm after the storm, explain the ways that others respond to various situations from time to time. Although Jesus is not speaking specifically to this sort of thing in His words here, the ideas that He gives to us do seem to apply to these difficult times in life. In this prayerful portion of the Upper Room Discourse Jesus is addressing God, the Father. Christ says that the Father is in Him and that He, Christ, is in His followers, us. This is basic, fundamental Christian thinking. His next words are powerful. Christ says that a goal or an intent of His dwelling in us is that we would become perfect which in this setting does not mean morally or ethically correct but does mean that we would become fully formed, grown up, into people who act and think like Christ.

This is helpful to me in dealing with my responses to life. Jesus grants to me a perspective that can change this dysfunctional aspect of my existence into something that actually brings me closer to Him and deeper into the relationships that I encounter on a daily basis. I believe that Christ would have me set aside the negativity and the doubt that mark these hard days with the realization that they are the product of my old self. Christ’s love, which is the same love as that which God gives, is poured out on and into me. It is a love that He would have me apply to all of the interactions that I enter into. It is the love that Christ has granted to me as the foundation upon which I should view all people. This love is what brings me into that state of perfect maturity in Christ, and it is that state of maturity that makes logical sense of life’s emotionally and challenging moments.