“Thomas said to him, ‘Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way . . .’” ( John 14:5-6a ESV)
Thomas’ question could just as easily be ours today as we continue to face the upheaval and uncertainty that COVID-19 has brought to our lives. Even though the stay-at-home orders are being lifted in some locations, and a few steps are being taken to allow certain businesses to be reopened, we still have lots of unanswered questions—possibly even more than before. Some of us are asking things like:
- How can I know the way when my finances are in complete disarray because of this pandemic?
- How can I know the way to help my children when I can hardly figure things out for myself?
- How can I know the way forward when I don’t know if my workplace will be safe when it reopens?
- How can I know the way to interact with others when some of my friends are taking precautions and others aren’t?
Like us, Thomas and the other disciples were confused about which way to go. They wanted to follow Jesus, but there didn’t seem to be a clear path before them. Jesus’ striking answer is just as apropos today as it was when Thomas asked his question. But it’s an answer with a twist: Jesus doesn’t answer Thomas’ “How?” question. Instead He answers a “Who?” question and points Thomas—and us—to Himself!
So here we are with all of our questions. None of us has ever experienced a worldwide pandemic before; it’s not easy to follow Jesus through this uncharted territory. But He’s welcoming us to engage in conversations with Him about all of our quandaries and conundrums. He has answers for all of our questions, and He knows the path we each should take. He understands our unique needs, and He’ll point us in the right direction. He is more than happy to reveal to any one of us what our next step should be.
And one of the rich beauties of this all is that Jesus’ answer to each one of us might be different. It’s not a one-size-fits-all road: He provides a tailor-made path for each individual. He knows your unique way and mine because He is the way.
So as we face each new question that arises from this pandemic confusion, let’s keep turning to Jesus, who is offering Himself as the way forward.
I’ve never been down this path before, Lord. I don’t know what to do, and it’s often difficult to know how to follow You. Be the Way for me today.
I know the way: it’s Jesus Himself.
~ Kathryn Kircher