Read: John 14:1-6
Reflect: It was Saturday on a Labor Day weekend and my husband finally told me that he had been having chest pains for a couple of days and his blood pressure was through the roof. Ten years previously similar symptoms had led to a major health episode so my emotions immediately went to high alert. We drove to Urgent Care and they sent us to the hospital. We sat for hours as they ran different tests and tried to get Bill’s blood pressure down. The physician decided to keep Bill overnight in the ER for observation and on the way home, that’s when my emotions hit a brick wall. I was driving on Eshelman Road alongside the Lancaster County Park and I just lost it. The adrenaline was gone. I felt so alone. I didn’t know what was going to happen to Bill. I felt surrounded by a fog.
I think that’s how the disciples felt after the Last Supper. Jesus had repeatedly told them what was coming, yet the disciples kept shrugging it off or actually denying it. Yet again, Jesus told them that one of them would betray Him, that He would die, and despite Peter’s objections, Jesus told Peter that he would also fall to the wayside. At the end of John chapter 13, do you feel and hear the disciples’ confusion, fear, and denial of what was coming right around the corner? Their emotions had to have been surrounded by a fog of bewilderment and shock.
Under these conditions came the words of Jesus, “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me.” Jesus’ antidote to their deep-seated fears was for them to actively trust in the One Who is trustworthy. Jesus was saying “Rest….I’ve got it covered,” regardless that this situation would become increasingly devastating for the disciples as the hours went by. Jesus was on a highspeed train to the cross and the disciples were watching His departure.
We live in an age of highspeed anxiety. Every day we deal with an incredible amount of uncertainty. Global conflicts, skyrocketing prices, escalating crime and violence, corruption of political powers, and disruptions in friendships that had previously stood the test of time. These are enough to make a good person want to never again get out of bed because the days are frightening. This is why John 14:1-6 is good medicine for our hearts. Someone paraphrased it, “Don’t let your heart shudder”. These words gently came from the mouth of God, the One Who is sovereign, omniscient, omnipotent. The Holy One Who knew the hearts of the disciples, knew what was coming, and knew that their souls needed comfort even in the midst of the darkest fog. Jesus spoke truth into what C. S. Lewis calls the “inconsolable longing”, their desire to having everything put right in the middle of utter confusion. Jesus was speaking hope. We will never have life on this earth without trouble, but we can have an untroubled heart even in a troubled life. This is a radical call to do the unthinkable; to trust in Jesus totally in the midst of darkness.
That’s what I decided to do when I was wrung out, bone tired, and filled with fear in the car on Eshelman Road. I made the decision to make God the owner of the situation and to stop trying to handle it on my own. “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me.” Did I know what was going to be the medical outcome for Bill? Were the upcoming events miraculously revealed to me during that car ride? No. The miracle was that God spoke to me in the darkness of the fog. “Don’t let your heart be troubled. Jacqui, trust in God, and trust also in me.” That is when the darkness dissipated.
Apply: Whatever you are going through right now, however frightening your situation is, you have a God Who knows, Who understands, and Who deeply cares for you. You might not be in a car in the middle of the night driving on Eshelman Road, but you have a God Who is offering to bear the burden and Who is utterly trustworthy. “Trust in God and trust also in Me.” Are you willing let Him settle your unsettled heart?