“I am no longer in the world; and yet they themselves are in the world, and I come to You, Holy Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me, that they may be one even as We are. …I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one.” –John 17: 11, 15
I have to confess, Kept isn’t something I came up with. My writing friend, Sally Bradley did. She named her newly released novel Kept. While I thought that was an intriguing title, I honestly didn’t spend a whole lot of time thinking about it until I neared the end of my journey through the book of John a few weeks ago. Jesus’s prayer for the believers leapt of the page to me, and it was almost as if the word keep was in bold print before my eyes.
Kept. I am kept. By whom? From what? And for what purpose?
I read the first chapter of Sally’s book Kept online, and it had me intrigued from the get-go. I can’t wait to buy the whole thing, and I’m thankful for her creativity that has inspired this week’s blog topic.
I only keep things I treasure. I tried to give away my daughter’s princess-dress-up clothes this week. But I just couldn’t do it. Oh, she’s 11. She lost interest in them years ago. But when I opened the box, the memories of my dancing 5-year-old were hidden there in the sparkling folds. I could taste the sweetness of that earlier time in the perfumy fragrance of the fabric. I closed the box. I’d keep them. Maybe for a granddaughter, if God gives me one in a couple of decades.
I kept them for two reasons: Firstly, I enjoy them right now. I like just owning them. They give me pleasure. And secondly, I have a future use in mind for them.
Which brings me to Jen’s questions, stemming from these beautiful verses in John. Who keeps us? God himself. And why? Because He treasures us. He enjoys us. We bring the God of the Universe pleasure. And, He has a future in mind for us. God has plans for us. He must keep up safe to accomplish them.
“Safe” doesn’t mean we are stashed in a box under a bed. Safe may not even mean physical safety. Instead, he keeps us spiritually safe for all of eternity, nestled in the palm of His hand, ready for all His future plans – plans on this earth, and plans beyond.