When Your Heart is Troubled – “Jesus, I!”
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” (John 14:27, ESV)
I recently found an old journal I wrote in for my son Josh when he was a baby, some 23 years ago. The journal was written like a letter to him, recording some of the special and funny moments from his early childhood. But one story in particular brought tears to my eyes, even today.
The scene? A McDonald’s PlayLand, circa 1999. Two-year-old Josh had climbed up into the system of tubes and tunnels after his older sister, and I lost sight of him among all the other kids. I stood up to look for him, and then he emerged from one of the tunnel slides, tears streaming down his face.
“I went over to you Josh and asked if you felt scared. You said Yes, but then you said “Jesus, I!” in a very excited voice through your tears. I knew instantly that you were remembering that Jesus is with you when you are afraid (like we read about in your books). I was so touched by that!”
Wow. “Jesus, I!”
That simple moment happened 23 years ago, yet it still resonates deeply in my heart. I can relate to that feeling of “tunnel anxiety”, even as an adult.
What kinds of dark tunnels leave us feeling troubled and afraid today?
Perhaps a difficult relationship, a wayward child, a chronic health problem, or an underlying anxiety about the future.
“My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” (John 14:27)
Jesus spoke these words to his disciples, knowing they were troubled about the future. He told them he would soon be leaving the world, but reassured them that he would not leave them as orphans (John 14:18).
That promise is true for us today! Jesus gave His life on the cross for our sins, rose from the grave and ascended into Heaven, so that we could have eternal life with Him. He did not leave us as orphans, without a Father. He gave the gift of His Peace to those who put their trust in Him. Peace with God through forgiveness of our sins. A reconciling peace that leads to eternal life with Him.
“For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile himself to all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.” (Colossians 1:19-20).
If we confess that Jesus is our Lord and Savior, we can live securely today, knowing that we have been reconciled to God through Jesus Christ.
But what is also amazing, is that when we put our trust in Jesus, we receive the gift of His Presence through the Holy Spirit.
Jesus’ Presence in any situation = Peace.
“My peace I give to you.”
Somehow, my two-year-old son got that.
It almost feels too simple, yet I wonder if we make things more complicated than they need to be. As adults we try to fix and control circumstances ourselves, which can lead to more trouble and anxiety.
Instead, what if, when our hearts are troubled by
seasons of change and loss
anxiety or depression
situations beyond our control
we rest in the arms of Jesus, proclaiming “Jesus, I!”
Jesus, I am so very thankful for You! Help me to rest in Your arms today. Your presence brings peace to my troubled heart now, and the peace of eternal life with You. Please give me the courage and strength to be an ambassador of Peace – Your Peace –to a world that desperately needs You. Amen!