Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled

May 28, 2010

My two bits

Been a tough week, here at the old homestead. The Hubs has been working longer hours, so I’ve been on my own for most of the demolition of our kitchen and dining room. Then, the IRS decided to “examine” (aka, audit) my income, saying I didn’t claim it properly (I’m self-employed, and am paid via PayPal, so it’s hard to “officialize” anything for them)…

Then, my dad died this week. My comfort is that he knew that God sent His Son into the world to save sinners; so I know I will see him again. But it’s been tough; we both had tough lives and I know he had a lot of regrets about things he did. I’m so glad we worked them out years ago… thank God for that.

Then, we had a bat in the house (I admit I am terrified of bats); we spent the entire day yesterday filling holes between the studs with scraps of fiberglass and plastic sheeting. And today, Livvy escaped the house through an open door… we found her wandering around outside at the border of the property. All very, very freaky. WHAT a week. I do feel like I’m living in a dream right now. The remodeling itself has thrown us for an emotional loop with half the house totally dismantled and stuff packed away, and now all this… and it sometimes seems like a wave of trials and troubles could threaten to overwhelm me. Yet God is faithful to us, as always. We are getting through, and getting through things with this incredible peacefulness; I am assured that everything will be OK.

When we went out to see my dad one last time before he died, my daughter read a scripture to him, and it spoke volumes to us all:

Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.

In my Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for oyu. And if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. ~John 14: 1-4

We are also memorizing the Letter of James in the New Testament right now. I find myself constantly going over that verse “Count it all joy, my brethren, when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.” When we suffer, it’s oftentimes very difficult to raise our heads up over the billowing seas of sorrows. But God tells us there is hope in Him. Hope is an amazing thing. Hope will get us through horrible, difficult times that would sink us if we didn’t have it. I am eternally grateful for the hope Jesus Christ has given me.

Life is pretty fickle. In our fast-paced and selfish way of life, we surround ourselves with gadgets and activities, and it’s easy to forget that we are just a small vulnerable blip, a little vapor in time. We just don’t know what tomorrow brings, despite our technological pride and distractions. And sometimes the pressures rise up and can really squeeze us, like a tube of toothpaste. What comes out when we are squeezed? Anger, filthiness, bitterness? Or eyes turned up to God, and hope? I’ve been on both sides of that fence, and believe me– God and hope are better. Like Aretha Franklin said, “I’ve been poor, and I’ve been rich. Rich is better.”

So today, I go back to my Old Reliable– the scriptures. I love this section of scripture; it’s been my rock during some of the most tragic and despairing times of my life (and my other daughter read this to my dad that day, too):

We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed…He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus, and will present us with you.

Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory… ~2 Corinthians 4:8-9, 14-17

It’s SO easy to be overwhelmed by troubles, and SO easy to be distracted by all the cares of this life, too. I encourage you to search your own soul, because we just never know what tomorrow brings. God is poised with an open hand, ready to receive your heart. But you can’t think that your good deeds, as good as they may be, will score any points with Him. That’s what is means to “believe” in Jesus– that you are totally unable to earn your way to Him or a place beside Him. He’s too holy, He’s way, way more good than that. He can’t be bribed. He sent His Son, Jesus of Nazareth, to pay that debt that you owe to God. And face it: no matter how many charitable contributions or how nice you’ve been, you have blown it a LOT. But you don’t need to climb cathedral steps on your knees over glass to show how sorry you are; you need to realize that GOD did the work, He did everything and wiped all that nasty stuff away. And of course, when someone saves our life, we don’t treat it as a small thing; we devote our attention to that savior. We don’t throw it back in His face and think we’ve now got an excuse to continue to be nasty and use people. It’s an attitude of gratitude that shows how seriously we take His gift, where we’re willing to do things that He wants us to do even when we don’t want to do them.

Life is so short. It’s too short to squander. If you’re not convinced that Jesus was resurrected, maybe you should spend a little time and energy to look at the evidence yourself. I’d think it would be worth it. As for me, it’s been my rock throughout all the difficult, bitter, and tumultuous moments in my life.

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14 Responses to “Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled”

  1. akaGaGa Says:

    Ah, Rebecca, what a week. You and yours will be in my prayers. If there’s anything else I can do from this distance, you know how to find me.

  2. Mary Says:

    Dear Rebecca So sorry for your loss. Knowing our loved ones are home with our heavenly Father does help. Glad you found Livvy Love the kitty. She’s special and so are you. Hang in there and know you are in our prayers Take care and Bless You Mary

  3. Pat Says:

    I’m so sorry about the loss of your father. This has really been a hard week for you. I admire you for all the work you are doing on your house. In the end, it will be worth it, and you will be so proud. Your children are very lucky to have a mother as strong as you seem to be.

    In the midst of all of this, you need to remember to try to take a little time care for yourself somehow.

  4. Janiss Says:

    Wow, what a week. I’m sorry to hear about your father, but glad to know that you were able to be there for him during his last days. What Pat said – you’re an incredibly strong woman, but do take time for yourself to recoup a bit. It’s how one stays strong.

    On second thought, I think you know how to do that already. šŸ˜‰

  5. Penny Raine Says:

    oh wow, dear friend I am so sorry, I have been there and I know how it can all pile up. When my mom passed away, I truly understood how our Spirit can be willing but our flesh weak, I was in such a good place with the Lord but my physical body was in shock, do take time to grieve, and be sure to take care of ‘your’ temple, plenty of rest, fresh veggies and take extra vitamin b complex. All that stress isn’t good at once even though you have peace on the inside šŸ™‚ . Be blessed, you are in my prayers. And His.

  6. Lin Says:

    Oh, Rebecca, I’m so sorry to hear of your dad’s passing and of all the craziness that is going on in your life. This too shall pass, you know. Sometimes it just seems like the world has gone crazy when you are hurting. Livvy is okay, the bat left, and you are all safe. I pray you have a better week ahead. In the meantime, I’ll say a prayer for peace at your place.

  7. megscole64 Says:

    I thought I had a bad week. SO sorry to hear of your loss. Your post brings tears to my eyes. It’s great that you were able to reconcile whatever issues you had. I wasn’t old enough to have issues with mine before he died. šŸ™‚

    Everything will work itself in his time. I have to constantly remind myself that it is HIS will, not mine.

    Prayers!

  8. Donna Perugini Says:

    He is an anchor to your soul (in the tossing billowing seas of life).

    Your Dad will be amongst those who meet you when you arrive, to welcome you to your new place. You’ll throw your arms around each other once again and thank God together for the love, the grace he offers to everyone.

    I’m glad you both had time to reconcile to each other.

  9. Carole Says:

    Oh Rebecca! I am so sorry for your loss, but I am so glad to know your Dad knew the Lord and also that you had both already worked out your differences. I love the bible verses that you shared that you are standing on, and how you have used the trials you have been going through for God’s glory with your beautiful explanation for why despite all that has happened, you have peace. Thanks for sharing your heart with us – I was touched by what you had to say – I’m sure I’m not the only one. ((((HUGS)))) my dear friend!!!!!

  10. Secondary Roads Says:

    I’m saddened to hear of your loss, but encouraged to know that you are anchored to the rock. Sending prayers your way.

    • Rebecca Says:

      I’m really, really blessed by your words and prayers, dear friends. XOXOX I love you all. Thank you so much.

  11. Karen, author of "My Funny Dad, Harry" Says:

    My deepest condolences to you and your family. I’m so sorry to hear about your dad but encouraged to now he was a believer. You are right, we do need to look to God in times of trouble. I will keep you in my prayers and trust God will sustain, comfort and continue to work in your life to accomplish his purpose.

  12. Miss Szymanski Says:

    Rebecca, you know that you are in my prayers.
    When things seem to go so bad, what one good thing can you pull out of it that God has done for you? In your case, your father’s salvation was secure — that is the most important. Also, you ARE making great progress on your renovations. So even though it seems like so many bad things are happening, remember (as you are) that God is good, that He is faithful:
    “Blessed be the Lord, Who daily loads us with benefits, The God of our salvation!” (Psalm 68:19). Keep meditating on God’s Word — “Strengthen me according to your Word” (Psalm 119:28).
    Praying for you.
    “When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him” (Isaiah 59:19).

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    […] I love Jesus the Messiah šŸ˜€ I love computer mouses (trying to kick the habit…) I love disco. Especially Israeli disco. Don’t hate me, k? I love Paint Shop Pro. If your house looked like mine, you’d love it, too. I love motivational posters. And funny t-shirts. I love COFFEECOFFEECOFFEE! I lovelovelove my kitty, Livvy I love to tell freaky stories I love punny stories especially when they are language-based. […]