Eric Clapton, arguably the greatest living rock guitarist, wrote a heart wrenching song about the death of his four-year-old son (March 20, 1991). He fell from a 53rd-story window. Clapton took nine months off and when he returned his music had changed. The hardship had made his music softer, more powerful, and more reflective. You have perhaps heard the song he wrote about his son's death. It is a poignant song of hope:
Would you know my name if I saw you in heaven?
Would it be the same if I saw you in heaven?
I must be strong and carry on,
'Cause I know I don't belong here in heaven.
Would you hold my hand if I saw you in heaven?
Would you help me stand if I saw you in heaven?
I'll find my way through night and day,
'Cause I know I just can't stay here in heaven.
Time can bring you down; time can bend your knees.
Time can break your heart, have you begging please, begging please.
Beyond the door there's peace I'm sure,
And I know there'll be no more tears in heaven.
Jesus has just had the Passover meal with his disciples. He has washed their feet in an act of servanthood. He has foretold his betrayal which Judas will soon perform. He has predicted Peter's denial. He has told them he is leaving. But he adds this word of hope: Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house there are many rooms. I go to prepare a place for you and will come again and take you to myself. So that where I am, you may be also.
Hardship has a way of getting our attention. Pain slows us down. It can even soften us. Very few of us, after facing a trial, come out the same way we entered in. Jesus understood this and attempted to prepare his disciples for the road ahead. He wanted them to know first of all:
If you have faith in me you will overcome your worry. It seems almost impossible doesn’t it? Getting rid of worry. But let me tell you it is absolutely essential that we be free of worry. Worry distorts reality. And, worry often times leads us to false conclusions.
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