John 14:1 says, “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God and trust also in me.” Verse 27 says, “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.”
The command is clear—don’t let my heart be troubled or afraid. Okay. I get that. But how is that possible when the news is full of reports about floods and tornadoes and wild fires? Closer to home, how can I experience peace after learning that a lifelong friend is being moved into palliative care as her valiant fight with cancer draws to a close?
Last week was a tough one. A profound grief filled me upon hearing of my girlfriend’s situation. A physical heaviness settled into my chest and my tears flowed. I had three major speaking engagements, and I honestly wondered how I’d get through them without crying.
My friend and I are the same age. We attended the same Sunday school and mid-week girls’ club while growing up. We shared secrets. Laughed together. Graduated from high school together. I was maid of honor at her wedding. Now she’s saying goodbye to her husband, her kids, and her grandbabies while I’m free to linger here and enjoy mine. It feels unfair that our lives have taken such different paths. And why, though her husband has soaked his pillow with his tears while pleading for God to heal his best friend, has God said no?
I know what a troubled heart feels like. Thankfully I also know what it feels like for peace to overrule. How did I come to experience this peace in the midst of grief?
Here’s my secret: I’ve chosen to do what John 14:1 says—to actively trust God in this situation. He has promised eternal life to all who place their saving faith in Him. My friend did this as a child, therefore, she’s guaranteed a home in heaven. In a short time, she’ll take up residence there. Her suffering will end. And best of all, she’ll meet Jesus face to face.
If I allow my thoughts to linger on what seems to be unjust, and if I focus only on the pain that my friend and her family are experiencing right now, then my heart will indeed remain troubled. But Jesus said, “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God and trust also in me.” And so I choose to trust, even when I don’t like what’s happening.
How about you? What do you do to find peace when your heart’s troubled?
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