Summary: This sermon about the troubles and trials we encounter includes a true story of how the Lord turned a bad time into good for a woman.
Jesus Calms the Storms of Trouble
1"Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.
2In 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.
3And 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.
4And where I go you know, and the way you know."
5Thomas said to Him, "Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?"
6Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
7"If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him."
8Philip said to Him, "Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us." 9Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, 'Show us the Father'?
10Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works.
11Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.
12"Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.
On July 12th, 1959, Jim and Neda Meyer were married in a little country church. They were blessed with three children, a boy and two girls. If you could envision an ideal Christian marriage, this was it. Jim was a loving father - a faithful father - one who took his role as the spiritual leader of the household seriously. Every Sunday he would make sure that his family was up and dressed - ready to worship their Lord. And it wasn't just a rite of passage for Jim. The kids could tell that dad wasn't just going through the motions. He loved to be there. He didn't fall asleep through the service, no matter how long the preacher preached. After the service, he would bring up the topic of the sermon - and ask his kids about it. The worship of his Lord would continue at home. In the way he treated his wife and children, in the way he led devotions almost daily.
Jim was also a hard worker. A blue collar man, he faithfully showed up for work in the paper mill until the day he retired, only missing two days in 35 years of work over a sickness. He managed his limited finances very wisely, and was able to purchase a nice house for his wife and family.
Neda loved Jim with all of her heart. From the day he met her at a youth get together in high school - she knew he was the man for her. In a lot of ways, Neda needed Jim. She was a frail woman - often times very sickly. Quite often Jim would spend his nights taking care of the children after school while Neda nursed a cold or the flu. She wasn't very good at finances, but Jim took care of that. She was good at housework and cooking. She was a faithful wife and she complimented Jim perfectly. It was just a cookie cutter marriage.
July 12th, 1999 was a night of celebration. Forty years of marriage. Forty years. Think about it. Many couples don't last forty days, but they had lasted forty years. It was a beautiful night. All three of their children came from around the country - North Carolina, North Dakota, and southern Wisconsin - to celebrate their anniversary up in Wausau, Wisconsin. All of the kids shared stories of how mom and dad taught them how to ride a bike, tie their shoes, or mow the lawn. Little Jim recalled how he would shovel the walk with dad. Alice recalled cooking in the kitchen with mom. All of their friends laughed and joked about the good times they had had. The night was longer than usual - nearing midnight - as the party finally dispersed. At about quarter til midnight, the kids finally convinced mom and dad to head on home - they would clean up the VFW. After all, there was church the next morning.
As they traveled home, Jim and Neda just stared into the road, thinking to themselves about what a wonderful night they had. Holding hands like young sweethearts, they felt as if it was just yesterday they had gotten married. It was only about a seventeen-mile ride out to the country; one they had made a hundred times before.