“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.” (John 14:1)
Questions often stack up tall beside a short supply of answers. We surface our doubts and wonderings, waiting for explanations from God as if he is bound to straighten out all our conundrums. God doesn’t scare easily, doesn’t flinch at our barrage.
We can choose to pursue grand thoughts and theories, losing ourselves in a maze of perplexing uncertainties. Or we can pause before a familiar text, linger there with questions in hand, and present the problem. We might hear the Lord’s response, and then again, we simply might need to seek, ask, and knock some more. Pound the door down. Search further than ever before. The struggle itself may prove to hold the answer.
Who can we trust? What can we believe? John 14 counsels us to lift our troubled thoughts to him, all the jumbled pieces in disarray. We are to consider that God is credible, dependable, believable. We are to position our minds firmly on God’s summons to trust that he has the answers figured out. He can handle all our questions and doubts, all the things that transport trouble into our hearts. “Believe me to be bigger than all of these,” is his assurance to our burdened souls.
When we wonder which way to go, what path to take, how to get from here to there, we read Christ’s testimony that “I am the way” (John 14:6) as his clear and plain direction. Jesus is signpost and compass, morning star and guiding light. He doesn’t simply figure a way out of our troubles for us, as uncomplicated as that is for him. Instead, he desires that we know him more and ultimately discover that he himself is the way through, the way out, the way we need to go.
When we wonder “Who will help me now?” Christ answers, “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of Truth…You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you” (John 14:16-17). God is not in the business of “road-side assistance,” arriving to fix a flat in our life or to pull us from the ditch by the side of the road. Rather, he offers us the power of the living Lord directly within, the Spirit of God right by our side and inside our heart on a forever basis.
All by himself, Jesus is the answer to whatever we may ask. His presence provides the answer, his life filling and fulfilling us. Help unlike any other, for all of time, for every possible situation ahead.
Elizabeth Karram Mitchell