By BRENDA HOPF
CONNECTING FAITH AND LIFE
Like all of you, my mind is flooded daily with information about the current pandemic. In an effort to curb the information overload, I have tried to limit myself as to what I read in the newspaper and on social media, and what I watch on television or listen to on the radio. Despite my best effort, the COVID-19 pandemic is in my face and on my mind every day. Some of the information is necessary; some is not. Some of the information is helpful; some is not. Some of the information is true; some is not. I get the same variation of information and opinions in my conversations with co-workers, family and friends. Searching for the truth can be exhausting.
While it is necessary, to some degree, to stay informed during this unprecedented time in history, I question if my time is well spent searching for the truth in these particular matters. One minute I read or hear something I believe to be true. The next minute I read or hear something that contradicts the very information that I just believed to be true and this new information seems just as legitimate as the previous information. Is there any way I can be sure of who is telling the truth or what I should believe? In the matters concerning the current pandemic, and likewise many of the controversial issues facing our society today, finding the truth can be nearly impossible.
As I was wrestling with this “truth-searching” dilemma, a clue as to where to find the truth literally caught my eye as I passed through our kitchen. Hanging there on the wall is a plaque with a scripture quote from John 14:6, which reads “I am the way and the truth and the life.” I stopped in my tracks and read it again. Then I grabbed my bible and began to read John, chapter 14. What happened next was very unexpected. Tears filled my eyes as I continued to read. While I am not a scripture scholar and I know that I do not fully understand the meaning of all the scripture I read, it was clear from the tears that blurred my vision that I was moved by what I was reading. Could it be that I had found the answer to my question of where to find the truth? I believe that I did.
While it may not be anything close to what one might find in a bible commentary, I will share just a few simple thoughts about discovering where to find the truth as I read chapter 14 of John.
First of all, Jesus is the truth, plain and simple. He said it. I have also been taught that Jesus is the Word, which means the bible, the Word, is the truth. What a comforting thought to know there is a place I can go that for me, without doubt, contains the truth.
Another thing this chapter did was to remind me that whatever happens on this earth, I need to remember that a place has been prepared for me in heaven; and following Jesus is the way to that place. This earthly life, pandemic and all, is only temporary. While not exactly a pleasant thought for me and a reality I admittedly don’t like to face, the truth is I will die someday. What counts is the way I live my life on earth, not whether I survive it.
Jesus, the truth, also says in the first verse of John 14, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith in me also.” Later, in verse 16 and again in verse 25, Jesus tells us how he is going to help us when our faith wavers and our hearts are troubled. Jesus has given us an Advocate, the Holy Spirit — a Spirit that is with us always to guide us to the truth and to calm our troubled hearts.
This is just a small sampling of the truths that I discovered in John 14. I have no doubt as I go back to read it again and again, and as I turn to the many other scripture passages in the bible, the Holy Spirit will reveal new things and remind me of what I have already learned about the truth but may forget as I falter in my human weakness.
As we all continue to search for the truth in the information we read and hear about the COVID-19 pandemic and other daily controversial issues that our society faces, let’s pray for one another as we are trying to save ourselves from these worldly things, that we find comfort in the fact that whether what we read or hear about those things is true or not, there will always be a place that we can go that we know without doubt we can find truth. Through the guidance of the Holy Spirit may we all come to know the only truth that really matters; the Truth, that, through His life, death and resurrection we have already been saved.
Brenda Hopf is a member of Divine Mercy Parish in Dubois County and also contributes to the “Sharing the Load” column in The Message.