[Let not your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid]
I don’t fly–not well on my own anyways. (This is going to start off with a good dose of metaphor. I do love metaphor!) There were times over the last 16 months when I wasn’t letting the Pilot do the piloting. Instead, I’d look at my Guidance System and insist we must be going the wrong way. It was during those times that I was gently reminded: “Wait; be patient; be still;” and even, “You’re not the one piloting this aircraft, I AM.”
My own dialogue went a little something like this: “This is way too low! Those mountains are in the way! I really don’t enjoy turbulence!” Back on base I was caught off guard by the appearance of a wolf! (How did I miss that!?) After this experience, I went on lock down. No wolf was getting past my defenses! Not on my watch! (Okay, so I might be a tad over-protective.)
For a time there I felt very guarded. I was definitely on high alert. I knew that I was overreacting, but I felt vulnerable. Then when I was asked by my Superior “Do you trust me?” I realized what I was doing, and I was sheepishly reminded that I can relax. I was finally able to get a hold of myself, or rather He got a hold of me. How does He do that?
I was a mess. I don’t particularly enjoy the unknown, or sudden surprises, and I definitely wasn’t being patient. Right from take off my velocity was crazy! In fact, I was performing as if I had to get where I was going at warp speed. I clocked as many hours as possible, convinced that I had some sort of deadline to meet. Perhaps, I was just excited, and a wee bit overzealous? (Okay, maybe more than a wee bit.) It was then that my Superior nudged me again saying, “Take your time. You’re on my time.”
“My times are in Your hands; deliver me from the hands of my enemies, from those who pursue me.” –Psalm 31:15
Further down the runway, things slowed almost to a screeching halt. I kept tapping the fuel gage. “We aren’t empty are we?” We were out in the middle of nowhere…stuck…waiting. Have I mentioned that I hate waiting? Patience had flown out the window many miles back. I was trying desperately to track her down. Though I felt as if we weren’t budging an inch, I was reassured that we’d get there slowly, but surely.
When I did realize that I wasn’t reacting reasonably I gave the Pilot the benefit of the doubt. I finally relinquished the controls that I never had to begin with. I decided I needed to trust that He knew exactly what He was doing. When I did give in, I was able to start enjoying the view again. Unfortunately, I have a tendency to fly in circles so given a bit of time, I do it all over again.
I can overthink things to the point that I convince myself I’m the one who has to work it all out, thus, that fear rushes in once again. While I know that fear lies, I do occasionally freak right out. Why? Oh, maybe it’s that whole “In this world you will have troubles” thing. (John 16:33)
However, I was looking at this all wrong; I’d discarded what Jesus had spoken, both before and after these very words, as well as why we’ve been told that we’ll have troubles. First, Jesus says, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.” In other words: “Don’t panic; these things are going to happen. Relax, and leave the piloting to me.”
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”–John 16:33
What were these “things” that Jesus was talking about? Jesus was providing hope to the disciples regarding the event that was soon to happen: He would be crucified. His words were a loving heads-up as well as a reassurance. They would have sorrow, but their grief would turn to joy. They would experience loss, but Jesus would rise to life again. He would go away, but He would also return.
The fact that Jesus knew what was about to happen to Him is proof that He was speaking with authority. Jesus was never in the dark. He knew the plan. We too know the basic framework of God’s plan. However, sometimes we lose sight of the big picture. I often lose sight of it. Nevertheless, again I’m lovingly reminded, “Fix your eyes on Me. Your peace is in Me.” (Isaiah 26:3)
John 14:27 has always spoken to me in such a comforting way. Particularly the second sentence because it drives home the fact that Jesus is neither ordinary nor of this world. He won’t give as the world gives because He isn’t a mere man. How does the world give? Well, usually it’s a very selfish ‘love ‘em and leave ‘em.’ What does Jesus say? He says, “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” (John 14:18)
True peace is in Jesus because the world cannot give as Jesus gives. People give up. They walk away every day; they walk away from their friends and family; they walk away from their spouses; they walk away from God; and they even abandon their own children. Jesus says, “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. That’s not my way. I won’t leave you as orphans.”
Before Jesus ascended to heaven, He promised that those who accept Him as their Lord and Savior would receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit comforts us, convicts us, gives us victory over sin, and gives us gifts that will help us with every good work. God has it all worked out. We never go it alone, and Jesus will return. This is true peace.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” –John 14:27