As my wife and I entered the senior adult luncheon, I immediately recognized a familiar face – at least I thought I did. But, if this was the person I assumed him to be, what was he doing here? I nonchalantly glanced at him while speaking to those greeting us. There had been a number of years since I had seen him. Finally he smiled and walked over. It was him, but time and a few years almost made a lifelong acquaintance unrecognizable.
Two of Jesus’ disciples almost made the same mistake. They were traveling to Emmaus. Suddenly a man joined them and asked about their conversation. The expression on their faces said it all. “You must be the only person in Jerusalem who hasn’t heard about all the things that have happened there” one of them said. (Luke 24:30 NLT)
After informing the stranger about Jesus’ crucifixion and how their hopes of a Messiah had been dashed, the stranger began quoting Scripture to prove the events had been predicted by the old prophets. Accompanying them to their home, this stranger enjoyed a meal with them. Then suddenly their eyes were opened and they recognized him as the resurrected Jesus. “Suddenly, their eyes were opened, and they recognized him [Jesus]. And at that moment he disappeared” (Luke 24:31 NLT).They almost missed God.
How typical. They were discouraged and disappointed that this Jesus hadn’t fulfilled their expectations. Instead of triumphing, he allowed himself to be crucified. Instead of releasing their nation, they remained repressed by their conquerors.
Discouragement and disappointment can do the same for us. If not processed correctly, both will lead to depression which further obscures God’s visibility. I’ve learned when life throws a curve I can trust God or rail against Him. Spiritual growth or bitter ends are my choices. But bitterness will always result in missing the lessons He’s teaching. God wants to grow our faith by teaching us to see more clearly but with limited sight.
Prayer: Even when my dreams are dashed and the plans I’ve made fall to pieces, Dear God, may I trust You to carry me through and put together Your puzzle for my life.
Excerpt from Morning Meditations by Martin Wiles. He is a native South Carolinian and ordained minister. He and his wife Michelle are the founders of MorningLiteMinistry – a devotional ministry designed to encourage those on a spiritual journey with Christ. (www.morningliteministry.com)
Article seen on the website of Florence Simmons, www.common-sensewisdom.com