“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.” John 14:1-3 NLT
When I was a very young Christian, there was an old guy in the church that we used to call, -appropriately enough,- Grandad. It was a term of much affection.
I remember doing Open Air Meetings where I would generally be at the front, guitar in hand, belting out songs. He, on the other hand, would hang around at the back and just wait for people to approach him, which they did, raising their eyebrows at the youthful shenanigans on parade, and expecting his agreement. And then he would begin, speaking in the simplest possible terms, about his life with Jesus.
He comes to mind whenever I think about this particular verse because it was easily his favourite. In a hundred prayer meetings he would begin with it, quoting it in the old King James Version. It’s a word of comfort for those who are frightened and who don’t really know or understand what’s going to happen to them next. It’s a word of encouragement for those in the middle of a crisis. And it’s a word of strength for those who feel bereft.
And the word is Jesus. It’s the same word in every context. It’s all Grandad had to offer and he did it with a kind of twinkly certainty that it was all that was needed.
So it is interesting that I have come to think of this verse as a kind of “All you need to know” about the future life. It is where Jesus is. When everything is ready, He will come for me. And I will be with him. I don’t have to watch with anxiety as the places fill up, wondering whether or not He can squeeze me in. It’s not an overbooked coach trip, nor a tricky exam.
Plenty of room. Easy terms.
Just a relationship.
As I get older I get simpler. And now I realise that I myself have become a Grandad. It’s strange thought.
And every desire for achievement, every ambition, every project comes down to this: Do I know Him? Do I trust Him? How is that relationship doing?
Lord, I come to you, trusting in your great love for me. Thank you, that even when I am not sure of myself, I can be very sure of you. Thank you for the example of our elders, and enable me to be a good example to those younger than me.