Summary: To find the cure for your troubled heart, look ahead to the place Jesus is preparing for you, look up in prayer to your Heavenly Father, and look within at your Partner, the Holy Spirit.
Turbulence is the number one concern of anxious flyers. So much about it seems dangerous, but Patrick Smith, a commercial airline pilot who flies Boeing 757’s and 767’s, assures flyers that turbulence seems a lot worse than it actually is. Smith writes:
“For all intents and purposes, a plane cannot be flipped upside-down, thrown into a tailspin, or otherwise flung from the sky by even the mightiest gust or air pocket. Conditions might be annoying and uncomfortable, but the plane is not going to crash. Turbulence is an aggravating nuisance for everybody, including the crew, but it's also, for lack of a better term, normal. From a pilot's perspective, it is ordinarily seen as a convenience issue, not a safety issue. When a flight changes altitude in search of smoother conditions, this is by and large in the interest of comfort.
“The pilots aren't worried about the wings falling off; they're trying to keep their customers relaxed and everybody's coffee where it belongs… In the worst of it, you probably imagine the pilots in a sweaty lather: the captain barking orders, hands tight on the wheel as the ship lists from one side to another. Nothing could be further from the truth.
“Actually,” Smith concludes, “while the passengers are fretting about the turbulence, the pilots are having a casual conversation about their morning orange juice.” (Patrick Smith, “A pilot explains what it really means when there's turbulence during a flight,” Business Insider, 8-9-17; www.PreachingToday.com)
Our world is going through a lot of turbulence these days, and people are afraid that the wings are going to fall off their lives. Christian people know that their Pilot, Jesus Christ, is in control. They know that the current coronavirus pandemic hasn’t surprised Him, but they still worry sometimes.
What would Jesus your Pilot say to you as you face the turbulence in your life? I think He would say the same thing He said to His original 12 disciples during His last supper with them. They had come to Jerusalem expecting to help Jesus set up His kingdom. Instead, they find out that He’s going to die, that one of them will betray Him, and that another one will deny Him.
Talk about turbulence! One minute they’re arguing about who’s going to get the top spots in Christ’s Kingdom. And the next minute, they’re facing the loss of their Champion and friend. They see their dreams spiraling down towards a crash landing, and they’re confused and afraid. If you have your Bibles, I invite you to turn with me to John 14, John 14, where we have Jesus’ words to His confused and terrified disciples and to you and me in these turbulent times.
John 14:1 Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. (ESV)
“Let not your hearts be troubled,” He says here and towards the end of the chapter in verse 27. “Let not your hearts be troubled” – It’s a charge, which bookends Jesus’ words in this chapter and is the main thrust of His message to His troubled disciples. “Let not your hearts be troubled” – “But how?” some of you ask. How can I calm my troubled heart? Well, let’s read on and find out.
John 14:1-6 “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? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (ESV)
Now, in order to understand this passage, you need to know a little bit about the Jewish marriage customs in Jesus’ day. When a young man wanted to get married, he would go to the home of his beloved and negotiate a bridal price with her father. Once that price was agreed upon, the young couple was betrothed. In other words, they were legally married, but not actually so. That is, they were not allowed to live together yet. So the young man went back to his father’s house in order to prepare a place for the two of them to live. It took him about a year; but at the end of that year, when his father said the place was properly prepared, he would come back for his bride. There would be a big procession to her house, where she would join him to return with her husband to his father’s house. There, they would consummate their marriage and live together for the rest of their lives.