He is There in Your Journey (Part I)

I am sure you have heard the saying, “Life is a journey.” If that is the case, think with me for a moment about what road you are on today in your life’s journey. Does your journey seem to be taking you where you have never planned or intended to go? I am reminded of a passage in the Bible in which two disciples of Christ are on the road to Emmaus. The word “Emmaus” is a Hebrew word which means “warm wells.” According to historians, Emmaus was a town near Jerusalem; however, its exact location has never been determined or remains unknown – so we can say that this road or path seems to be a journey going nowhere. Sometimes we feel that way.

In the context of this scriptural account, however, the disciples do know where they are going; they are heading back to the place of warm wells. We might say they are going back to a familiar place because of the trauma and pressure of their life’s journey at this time. Many times this is where we want to go – back home or back to the warmth of a familiar place of safety in response to the dismay our circumstances bring. While on this journey, Luke 24:13-32 paints a picture of how Jesus can appear to the discouraged and sorrowful. Let’s look for insights from this first portion of this passage of Scripture.

Luke 24:13-16
Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles
from Jerusalem.They were talking with each other about everything that had happened.  As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him.

In this place or on this path, when Jesus appears the disciples (lost in their grief) do not even recognize Him. In studying this passage, it is interesting to note that in verse 15 which states, “Jesus himself came up and walked along with them” (NIV), the Greek word “structure” means that Jesus drew near while they were absorbed in their talk and was already walking with them when they observed Him. Perhaps it is because they cannot see beyond where they are at the present moment and therefore they cannot take in what is actually happening. They are seeking to find some answer and explanation to the tragedy of His death. Many times, this is descriptive of our walk – we wonder why; we wonder how to go on. This bewilderment brings a sense of being lost and experiencing loss. Any time things do not go as we have planned there will be a sense of loss and grief.

The story read with care will show more than the sheer despair and discouragement that the disciples are feeling. As they lament, they speak of the fact that here was the One in whom they have set their hopes as their redeemer. Yet, He has been crucified, and it seems that all hope is dashed. But, perhaps, the point of the story can be focused on the fact that in spite of all the dismay, they are still talking about Jesus! Yes, it has not turned out as they think it should – they have heard the news that Jesus has risen from the dead, but they have not seen Him personally and therefore are unsure. Yet, we see from the text the evidence that still in the depths of their hearts; they can talk of Him, love Him, and ponder together what has happened.

There are times when we cannot understand and cannot see the way clearly, and life and its unfolding is a dark mystery. Some problems are so immense that they seem to defy any solution. We may sometimes feel that Jesus has failed. But, today, if that is how your world seems, be encouraged. If you still have Jesus at the heart of your world and if He is still quite unforgettable, then in the end, He comes, and the darkness becomes light. He will shine upon you and your path and lead you up from the dark valley into His glorious light.

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