It is good for you that I go away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.

Jesus to the apostles in John 16:7

This verse always frustrated me. How could Jesus say that His going away was a good thing? I understand that it took His leaving for the Spirit to come, but how could a Spirit I can’t see be better than the God walking beside me.

Francis Chan talks about this in his book, Forgotten God. He says:

"When the disciples heard that two thousand years ago, I’m sure it was hard for them to grasp. How could it be better to trade a human Jesus—a man they could talk and eat and laugh with—for a Spirit they couldn’t physically see? Thousands of years later, I think most of us would also choose a physical Jesus over an invisible Spirit. But what do we do with the fact that Jesus says it is better for His followers to have the Holy Spirit? Do we believe Him?"

Honestly? No. I haven’t believed Him in the past. I’m struggling to now. I’m trying to understand what the Spirit does inside me, how His power works through me. I want to want the Spirit inside me more than I want Jesus next to me.

Later, Chan says this about wanting the Spirit:

"Christ said it is better for us that the Spirit came, and I want to live like I know that is true. I don’t want to keep crawling when I have the ability to fly."

Okay… I want that too.