Remembering (Part 5)

Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. (John 14:1-3 ESV).

Where God resides is where we should live our lives out. That is our shelter from every storm of life. No circumstance can separate us from Him. It is one of the most amazing and wonderful things in the Bible to realize that just hours before Jesus was crucified he was concerned for the peace and the joy of his followers. Think of it. He is about to be tortured to death with one of the most horrific means of torture ever devised, and his burden was to solidify in the souls of his followers peace, joy, and faith. So, his simple message is found in our reading today. For us this message is past tense. He has already gone before us, forging the path to an eternal future free from every bad thing.

It is not difficult to doubt the truth of this promise. We can easily be drawn to the thought that this is mere subjective, emotional, individualistic, socially and culturally and politically correct speech in the face of the moment. It certainly can seem disconnected from the great public, systemic, global crises and injustices and calamities of our time. Many come to this conclusion when they hear the Lord doing this. After all, how can he be concerned enough at this time about the building peace and joy and faith into the hearts of his followers?

For me it is simple. Pick your crisis, your injustice. Choose poverty with all its internal and external causes; or, pick the devastation of drug addictions, white collar corruption like Ponzi schemes or nepotism or money laundering or planned obsolescence or redlining or embezzling or insider stock movements or bribery. Or pick ethnic and religious hostilities like the Burmese against the Christian Kachin, or the Nigerian Muslims against the Nigerian Christians, or the butchery in Syria. All of these things come from hearts devoid of the peace of Jesus Christ, and the joy of Jesus Christ, and the faith of Jesus Christ. But where that peace and that joy and that faith hold sway, those behaviors are overcome.

My encouragement to you, regardless of your experience of the moment, is to remember that He is already preparing you place in heaven. When it is ready, you will be ready. Then He will come and get you to escort you safely home. Then we need not concern ourselves with the “what” of this life; we only focus on the “when” it shall be finished! There is our joy, peace, and faith for this awful day!