August 21, 2020
When Your Life Gets Messy
By Skip Heitzig
Life can be messy and challenge our theology, something the disciples on the night of the Last Supper knew well. As Jesus spoke to them about His impending death, I imagine certain thoughts began to fill their minds: What if Jesus does die? What if this is it?
I bet you've had a case of "what ifs" before. What if I lose my job? What if I get sick? When you face a situation like that, you need the kind of truth that will haul you out of the mess and place you into the capable arms of a powerful and loving God. So let's turn now to Jesus' words in John 14:1-6, from which we can pick up three principles about messy lives:
1. Messy lives should be controlled. Jesus told His disciples, "Let not your heart be troubled" (v. 1). Now, when God gives a command, He gives a built-in capability to keep the command. So if Jesus says, "Get a grip," that means a grip can be gotten. As a Christian, you have the power to not allow your heart to be swallowed up by the mess of life (see Romans 12:2; 2 Corinthians 10:5; 1 Peter 1:13). Though there are many reasons to be troubled in this world, there are many more reasons not to be.
2. Messy lives must have a cure. Jesus didn't just say, "Stop worrying"; He gave us concrete reasons why we should stop worrying. First, we're to think about who we know: "You believe in God, believe also in Me" (v. 1). Just as the disciples didn't understand that a resurrection was coming after Jesus' crucifixion, you also don't have the big picture of whatever mess you're in now—but He does. So let go and trust who you know.
Second, we're to think of where we'll go: "In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also" (vv. 2-3). Jesus was speaking about heaven—our eternal destination that all of us who believe will one day reach.
3. Messy lives can be confused. Jesus made it clear to His disciples that He would be returning to His Father and to glory (see v. 4). But Thomas piped up and said, "Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?" (v. 5). Now, I for one am glad Thomas said this, because it led to the great answer Jesus gave in verse 6: "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me."
Heaven is a real place—but heaven is also an exclusive place. Do you know the one who has prepared it for His own? If you do, I pray your eyes would be lifted off the "what ifs" of this life onto the horizon of where the road leads: our Father's house. If Jesus Christ could do what it took to get you there, don't you think He can take care of your life and help you in the mess now?