Afraid

Amy Clemens

Read: John 14:1-7

Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? (vv. 1-2)

Sometimes humans are scared no matter what. One year, I am afraid to leave the job that is harming my soul and my family, the next I am afraid because the job is lost; a few months later I’m scared because the job of a lifetime has been offered me and I’ve lost my confidence. My heart is troubled, and I can’t seem to escape.

In a similar catch-22, the disciples were terrified because of Jesus’ death one day, and equally terrified when he showed up alive the next. Death catches us off guard; it leaves us feeling ill-prepared and vulnerable—whether we’re thinking about our own demise or experiencing grief because a close friend or family member has died. Even the death of a total stranger whose circumstances touch me in a significant way, or seeing a cross and wreath beside the highway, can tap into my fear and sorrow.

I take comfort in the fact that Jesus didn’t tell his friends, “Don’t be afraid to die.” He told them (and us), “Don’t be afraid because I am going ahead, getting things ready so we can be together in the house of the Father who loves us.” That settles my troubled heart. —Amy Clemens

Prayer: Mansion-maker and friend, your work is always good. Through my vulnerabilities, losses, and endings, help my troubled heart rest in your words of comfort.