Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A troubled heart

My quiet times recently have been in Matthew or John. This morning, I spent time in the 14th chapter of John which begins right smack in the middle of a long intimate conversation that Jesus is having with his beloved friends after the last supper. He had just told them several things which were deeply disturbing to them all. Here at the start of Chapter 14 he quiets them with the words: "Let not your heart be troubled".

They had been unable to comprehend what he had told them as they sat and conversed around that table. They were in emotional distress. These mighty men of God were confused about their future. They did not understand the turn of events that were surrounding them, and they felt that they would be unable to cope with their life if Jesus were to leave them.

How did Jesus comfort them?
What would He say to those He loved so deeply and had invested so much of His life in?
He had so little time left with these men and He had to make His words penetrate through their fear and their confusion.

First of all He told them to remember that even though He was not with them, they would be on His mind. He was going ahead of them to prepare them a place. He would not forget them. He had big plans for them.

Next, He reminds them to "Believe". Simply Believe? Simply? Simple to Jesus maybe, but it hard for them. Hard for me too sometimes.

Then He reminds them that they can still communicate to Him through prayer. Today, communication is so easy with our phones, mail and emails, but it was not that way back then. When someone left your presence, they were often gone. And Jesus was telling them that he would be dying! It was a foreign concept to them to imagine communicating with Him after His death. They still had not fully grasped that He was God's son. Jesus was telling them that He would be listening and waiting to respond to their prayers. He could see them and hear them.

I can just see their skeptical faces.

Often, I find myself facing many of the same fears and confusion that those disciples faced. I hear God talking, but I can not comprehend. I still, in spite of my years of living with Him, am side-tracked by the ridiculous notion that God is letting my life get out of control. I can not see Him, therefore He is not real. I can not audibly hear Him, therefore He does not hear me. I have no tangible proof of what Heaven is like, therefore I struggle with it being a sustaining hope.

His last hours were spent encouraging those He loved. Calming their troubled hearts. That blessed me this morning.
It seems that I often find myself troubled about a lot of things.
I have important questions with no good answers.
My circumstances make no sense to me.
But one thing that seems to have kept me going is that I know God loves me.

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