“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. 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, so that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way to the place where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:1-6
“Do not let your hearts be troubled.” I should find great comfort in that verse! So why don’t I? I am having a really hard time not letting the worries of the world affect my heart. I haven’t seen my oldest daughter in over a year because the borders of the country she lives in are closed, my younger daughter can’t rest knowing her Black and LGBTQ friends are hurting so much, I have friends and family being tested for COVID, I haven’t visited my parents in months for fear of giving them an illness that they won’t recover from, classmates are grieving loss of jobs, others are grieving loss of lives, and the list goes on and on.
Over the past couple of weeks I have found myself slipping into a dark place. I easily recognize the signs of depression and am fighting to turn it around but all my tools for coping aren’t working. On Friday, as I was trying to rationalize myself out of my pit, I sent a text to my family that said, “I need a break. I’m heading to the lake tomorrow. Does anyone want to come with me?” It ended up being the best thing I’ve done in weeks. As I sat on the shoreline of Big Mac, watching wave after wave roll in, I felt God whisper some peace into my heart. I watched my son and daughter hang out together all the while wrapped in God’s arms, “I’m still here, my child. I’m taking care of each one of you.”
As Pastor Rhonda reminded me in her sermon on Sunday, my hope is found in being a child of God. He’s prepared a place for me and has not forgotten me. When I am so troubled that I forget I am a child of God, I need to find a way to focus back on Jesus. This time, I was able to do that by being in nature and being reminded of God’s grace. Does that change any of the things that were troubling my heart? No. But I was reminded I am not alone, I am a child of God, and my God has the whole world in his hands.
When life beats us down and there seems little hope, remind us that you have conquered the grave. Show us your mighty power. Be generous with your miracles. Whisper grace and peace into our weary and troubled hearts. Pour your Spirit into us, Lord, so there is no doubt that our strength comes from you.
In the mighty, saving and precious name of Jesus,
Written by Julie Anderson
Julie Anderson is a member of Sheridan’s Devotion Writing Team. She works as Sheridan’s Children’s Music Coordinator where she is passionate about teaching children to use their musical gifts to praise God. Julie is married to Scott and counts her greatest honor as being mom to Adrienne, Eliot and Elise.