1 “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.
2 “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.
3 ”If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am,
there you may be also.John 14:1-3 (NASB)
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about Jesus words to the disciples in John 14. The last few weeks have been difficult for me. I recently lost my Gram. She was an amazing lady; a Bible teacher, a great cook, a spunky lady, but more than anything else, a loving woman who showered her love on me. I made it home in time to talk with her and receive one of her amazing hugs. Her eyes sparkled as she told me she loved me. Then just less than twenty-four hours later she slipped into a coma and passed into the presence of God.
As she lay in that coma, I pulled out my Bible and began to read passages from Revelation, Corinthians, and John. The doctor told us she could still hear us so as I read I expounded on the Scriptures telling her my take on each one. Gram was ever the debater, so with a smile on my face I told her it was nice to tell her what I thought without her challenging me. I must confess, it was her challenging and always asking “is that what it (the Scripture) says or is that your opinion?” that taught me the importance of studying the Bible. She was one who believed in the importance of accurate observation. She taught me well, as now I read and re-read a passage making sure I see exactly what the verse says. I never take someone’s word for it or assume that I know, I go back and the read the Scriptures for myself. I guess she taught me to be like the Bereans who Paul describes in Acts 17:11:
11 Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. Acts 17:11 (NIV)
As I read to her, I believe the Spirit promoted me to recall the words of Jesus to the disciples in John 14. They were meant as words of comfort to his disciples so as I flipped the pages I realized that this passage was a word of comfort for her. Even if she couldn’t respond to me, I knew that the Spirit within her would hear the words. Sitting on her bed with tears in my eyes, I read the words slowly, personalizing the Scripture just for her:
Do not let your heart be troubled Gram. Jesus says in his Word, “Do not let your heart be troubled and full of fear and anxiety. Just believe. Believe in God and believe in me also. In my Father’s house are many dwelling places, if it were not so then I would have told you. I would have said it in my Word that you have spent your life learning and studying. I go to prepare a place for you. A place specifically designed with you in mind; a place that you will love because everything you love will be there. If I go to prepare a place for you Trudy, then I will come back for you so that where I am you may be also. I want and long to be with you and I am anxiously awaiting your arrival. I have spent your lifetime preparing for you.
Strangely, I felt comforted as I realized that Jesus had been preparing for her. Another thought struck me; according to Ephesians 2:10, God had prepared work for her to do before she was born. While she was working and serving him here on earth, he was preparing for her in Heaven. Now, his daughter Trudy had completed the work he had assigned to her and it was now time to bring her home to Heaven. I can only imagine the beauty of the place that Jesus has personally prepared for her. While losing her here hurts, I know that she is now living in her special dwelling place in the Father’s house. Surrounded by others she loved who went before her, her health fully restored, her blindness gone, her ability to walk restored, and her pain is gone.
Today, Jesus is preparing a place for us to. He is getting everything ready in your room. The picture of Christ preparing for our arrival warms my heart. I imagine him counting the hours as he designs our dwelling place with beauty beyond our imagination.
Most of all, I find comfort in knowing that Jesus is preparing for me because he loves me.
3 When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.John 14:3 (NLT)