“Do not let your hearts be troubled…” (John 14:1, NLT) Jesus said this to His disciples as He neared His death. The disciples were filled with uncertainty and fear about the future. They didn’t understand all that Jesus was telling them, and what they understood they refused to believe. Why must Jesus die? Why must He leave them? What are they supposed to do? When Jesus tells them not to be troubled, it seems that being troubled is the perfect response to their situation.
“…Trust in God. Trust also in Me.” And there’s the crux of it, the object of trust. Trust properly placed settles the troubled heart. He’s asking the disciples to trust Him based on what they know of Him: His power, mercy, compassion, love, and faithfulness; that He is the Christ, the Son of the Living God; that He is King of Kings, Lord of Lords, and sovereign over all things. He is telling them to trust HIM, not themselves or each other. Trust properly placed in He who is worthy of such trust settles the most troubled and trembling heart.
I write this even as I feel the nagging pull of trouble on my heart. Tomorrow we are scheduled to close on the sale of the Edgebrook property. It’s a very, very big deal over a year in the making. It has been nearly all-consuming the past several weeks, and even more so in the past few days. Even now, with the signing of papers due to happen in just a few hours, there is an outstanding piece of paperwork that can hold up the entire proceeding. Will we have it by 10:00 am? What happens if we are delayed? What chain reaction will result? My human inclination is to worry, stew, and chew on what I can’t control. I have done all I can. It’s a matter of waiting for a lawyer’s approval and a signature. It’s a little two-page document, but it threatens to monopolize my thoughts. But then I remember, “Do not let your hearts be troubled; trust in God, trust also in me.”
Philip Yancey’s classic, Your God is Too Small, reminds us that our troubles are only too big when we make God too small in our minds and in our lives. If we make God into our own image, reduce Him to fit inside a box we’re comfortable with, or refuse to trust Him, our troubles will always seem overwhelming. Only when we recognize God for who He is, and all He is, do we begin to understand how small our troubles are in comparison. While our troubles are great and often beyond us to solve, God has no such limitations. However, we have to trust Him. We have to let Him take control of that which we have no control of. It’s not easy, but it is where we find the kind of peace that makes no earthly sense.
So, I will go to bed. I will sleep. I will trust that the paperwork issue will be resolved because I trust God to have it all under control. Whatever tomorrow holds, I know it will be okay.
[Addendum: at 9:25 a.m., ten minutes before I needed to leave for the closing appointment, I had the needed document in hand. God is faithful and worthy of our trust!]