Do not let your hearts be troubled. (John 14:1)
These words jumped off the page of my daily Scripture reading and prompted the question, what is troubling my heart?
Top of the list is my mother, who is ninety-five and on hospice. She has a variety of health issues, and yet she continues to live as though there is nothing wrong with her—she still cooks, cleans and does her laundry. She both inspires me (by her determination and perseverance) and worries me (because I know that any day something could happen—a fall, her heart could fail, etc.).
If you have ever kept vigil for someone who is nearing death, you will perhaps understand the stress of watching and waiting.
I remind myself that my mother is in God’s hands, and I believe that. Yet I know I am still holding onto something, as evidenced by the stress I feel.
The next line in John’s Gospel is Trust in God; trust also in me.
I pray to be able to let go and trust that God has my mother—and remember that God has me, too. Trust is the key, and when I am worrying, I am not trusting.
Worry is another word for fear, and Luke 8:50 reminds me that fear is useless; what is needed is trust. Another invitation to trust!
There are other items on the list of things that trouble my heart—my own health, my work, money, etc. Then there are more global issues that also trouble my heart—poverty, injustice and all the negative isms.
I know that trusting God and letting go of my fears is the way to peace in my heart, which seems to be the work of a lifetime.
What helps me to let go of worry is being present to the moment and trying to stay in the present moment. I remind myself that I cannot do anything about what might happen at some future time—and worrying about it won’t change anything.
I try to do the things that help me be present to the moment—creative activities like gardening, baking, knitting, etc.
What troubles your heart? What brings you peace?
Fear is a true human emotion and all the trust in God that we may have, will not allow us to let “fear” go completely, but if we can keep a balance of trust and fear, hopefully it will allow us to deal with “bad” stuff when needed. I remember a friend of mine had surgery a few years back and she simply stated that she trusted God to see her through it, but what about the surgeon? Did she trust the surgeon? What if the surgery had gone bad, then what? Would it have been God’s fault? Of course not. I do believe that both of our mother’s lives are in God’s hands and we just need to be as supportive as we can to help them live out the rest of their lives. And, we are both doing an awesome job!
I also try to stay in the moment, Madeline – there’s a lot to be said about taking one day at a time, right? Wish you lived closer so we could benefit from your baking; I sure could go for one of your homemade breads or cookies.
thanks Karen. I got a new oven, which makes it even more fun to bake. I agree about our mothers and that we are doing the best we can.