When Your Heart is Troubled and the Way is Unclear
April 1, 2011- a day of bad news. The worst news. Unimaginable, soul-crushing news that would change my life forever. The lights of passing car shone on his hardened face as he revealed his plans to leave our marriage. With each passing flash of light I scanned for signs of uncertainty and saw none. His jaw was set. His mouth determined. Eyes fixed on the road. Thirteen years with this man told me that he was serious.
On the eve of his death Jesus tells his disciples that one of them will betray him. (John 13:21) One of the men who had followed his every move, worshipped him, served, and honored him would now cast him aside. This troubled the disciples greatly, each peering uneasily around that long table to determine who among them would be unfaithful to Jesus their beloved master. And yet sensing no obvious villain among them, (although Jesus directly addressed Judas by giving him the bread) the disciples turn back with worried glances to look upon the face of Jesus- the one they trust.
He reassures them as only Jesus can saying: "Let not your hearts be troubled."
Don't worry. Calm your heart. Be still and know that I am God.
I have prepared an eternal home for you. It's going to be okay in the end.
This pain and sorrow you feel now will not last forever.
In fact, if you feel worried let me tell you who I AM: The way, the truth and the life. (John 14:6)
After my husband confessed his intentions and began the process of separating from our life together I didn't know which way was forward. I felt forced from the path that I had chosen and stumbled through the dark woods unable to see my own hand in front of my face. The way, the truth and the life? This is what I need.
1. The WAY is not a place or a path to follow- I was constantly looking for direction. Forward? Some said to "move on"? Which way was that? How does that look? The more I sought to make decisions that would lead somePLACE the more Jesus showed me that HE is the Way. The solace and constant companionship of the Lord would guide my steps in ways that would cause me to know him more deeply through seeking the truth in his word.
2. The TRUTH is always, always, always true- After the shock of my husband's decision began to sink in, I realized that I didn't know what was true anymore. I trusted him completely. If I couldn't trust him, who could I trust? I began to write a list of absolute truths from the Bible. After writing 106 truths I could see that each and every truth spoke to the character of an abiding and consistently loving God. Absolutely true no matter what. No need to fear a betrayal when God hides me in his shelter high upon a rock when trouble comes. (Psalm 27:5) The Psalms are bursting with truths about who God is and those truths are absolute.
3. The LIFE we can chose to find in Him after our chosen life "ends" can be richer and stronger- Jesus tells the disciples about heaven in John 14 to encourage their fearful hearts. They didn't know who they would be without him. Without their leader how would they know what to do? Where to go? What was important after this miraculous life they lived alongside of Jesus? Thankfully he promises them a helper- the Holy Spirit. (John 14:21) He promises he will still be with them. That they will go on to continue his work. He leaves them with peace- but not the world's peace- a peace in knowing that our eternal home in him is secure. Nothing can pluck us from the loving hand of God. So be not afraid of this kind of life. A life enriched by God's Holy Spirit which connects you in a way that your suffering as allowed.
Only Jesus (the way, the truth, and the life) can shine the light on a darkened path. The choices of others may cause you to wonder if God can (or even wants to) use your life for good. The disciples didn't know how to process knowing that one of them would betray Jesus and also that he was leaving them soon. His words would serve to comfort them just as his truth comforts us today. Be not afraid- let not your heart be troubled friend.
Lean on him and find an everlasting comfort in a God who IS the WAY in darkness, the TRUTH in uncertainty, and the LIFE eternal.
***Linking up with Five Minute Friday writers today, writing for five minutes on the word, “way”.