Summary: how Jesus comforts us at the loss of a loved one and other trials in life
April 25, 2002 John 14:1-12
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.”
5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”
8 Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”
9 Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves. 12 I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.
Jesus Calms the Storms of Trouble
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.
If this weren’t enough, 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 of 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 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 globe - 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.