Have you ever been afraid of something? Of course, you have; we all have been afraid at one time or another, so there’s really nothing to be ashamed of. Sometimes our fears are real like if we almost get hit by a car, but other times, our fears don’t really make much sense. I let you in on a secret; when I was little, I was afraid of gorillas. I’m not sure why. Maybe it was from seeing the movie “King Kong,” I don’t remember, but I had horrible nightmares about gorillas getting me. Now, there aren’t any gorillas in Gallipolis that I know of, so that fear was probably silly, but it was real to me back then. I had a terrible time many nights going to sleep or staying asleep.
In John 14:23-29, Jesus is talking to His Disciples at the Last Supper. When Jesus told His Disciples that He was going away to return to His Father, they didn’t understand and were afraid. They had been following Jesus for three years. What was going to happen to them? Would Jesus’ enemies recognize them as His followers and try to harm them too?
Jesus knew that His Disciples were afraid, and He offered these words to comfort them. “I am leaving you with a gift — peace of mind and heart. Remember what I have told you: I am going away, but I will come back to you again. I will come and get you, so that you will always be with Me. Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives, so don’t let your hearts be troubled and don’t be afraid.”
These words were a great comfort to His Disciples, and they are a great comfort to us today. When Jesus returned to His Father in heaven, He asked the Father to send the Holy Spirit to comfort His Disciples until the day when He returned. That includes you and me! We are His Disciples today. What a wonderful gift Jesus has given us — peace of mind and heart – true peace no matter what happens to us. We no longer have anything to fear. Whenever we find ourselves in the storms of life, Jesus is with us. We don’t have to be afraid of gorillas when we go to sleep anymore!
Let’s say a prayer. Father, we thank You for the Holy Spirit who guides us and calms our fears. We also thank You for the promise that one day we will be in Heaven with Jesus. In His name we pray, Amen.
Ann Moody is pastor of Wilkesville First Presbyterian Church and the Middleport First Presbyterian Church.