Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Insomnia and/or Heart Trouble

In the Gospel of John (chapter 3) there is a fascinating account of the midnight encounter Jesus had with a man who had a troubled heart. His name was Nicodemus. He was a man of position and influence. So much so, he was probably sneeking in to see Jesus under cover of night. Perhaps his thoughts, ponderings and questions were keeping Nick awake at night. Perhaps he was tossing and turning on his bed until finally, this particular night, he just got up out of bed and snuck off to see Jesus.

When I was a little girl (four years old), we were visiting my grandparents. At one meal we were all sitting around the large dining table when the discussion turned to my grandmother's "heart trouble." In our terms today, she probably had angina. We just called it "heart trouble." She described it as heart trouble, too. I loved to listen to adult conversation, but finally I just couldn't stand it any longer so I piped up, "Grandmother, don't you know that the Bible says, 'Don't let your heart be troubled?'"
Well, everyone got a jolt and a laugh and the family got a story to tell over and over!

The fact is that in John 14:1 Jesus spoke these very words, "Don't let your heart be troubled. Don't even let it be afraid. Trust in God. Trust also in Me." Jesus was talking to His disciples on the eve of His crucifixion. He knew they were in for the shock of their lives in the coming hours and days. These were the last words He would be able to give them to guide and comfort them. "Don't let THIS (My coming arrest, trial, death and burial) throw you. You trust God, don't you? Trust Me." (The Message)

I didn't understand anything about the medical implications of angina and didn't even know the word. But I did understand that behind the physical world of pain and trouble (even in my grandmother's heart), there is the King of All (God) Who is big enough to take care of any need and trouble. I got that because my parents (particularly my mother) had taught me John 14:1 and many other verses. I had tucked these verses deep in my own heart for times when I needed to take them out to think about and hang onto!

Well, back to Nick and his midnight meeting with Jesus. Nick needed a dose of heart medicine. Nick's heart needed Jesus! As he and Jesus sat and talked that night, Jesus explained to Nick that he needed to open his heart to God's truth. In that conversation Jesus spoke one of the most familiar verses in the Bible, "This is how much God loved the world: He gave His Son, His one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in Him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn't go to all the trouble of sending His Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in Him is acquitted; ..." (The Message, John 3:16 - 18)

You may also suffer "heart trouble" like Nick did. You may have spiritual questions. OR your brand of "heart trouble" may be of a different sort. You may be troubled by some addiction in your life, something that has you in a choke hold - like drugs or alcohol or even an obsession with food. You may have financial worries or some physical illness like cancer or be pregnant and not want to be. Your home may be breaking up or you might be so miserable living there that you wish it would. Whatever your personal brand of "heart trouble," Jesus has the answer for you just like He did for Nick that night so long ago.

Whatever particular brand of "heart trouble" you face, you need to know that God loves you. God sees your heart. God knows your particular need. God will forgive you and give you a whole new life. God is in the restoration business. God specializes in new beginnings!

For Nick in Jerusalem over 2,000 years ago and for you - the answer to "spiritual insomnia and heart trouble" is the same: Come to God through faith in His Son Jesus. It's simple! It's the only way to get into God's forever family! And it's the only path to God no matter what anyone else might tell you - through Jesus, the only Savior!

Actually that's what we're all about at A Restoration Church in the South Hills of Pittsburgh! Come gather with us if you have "spiritual insomnia and/or heart trouble." We have been there and done that, too! We are now in the process of God's restoring our hearts by His love and grace, and we'd love to have you come along with us on this exciting journey!

No comments: