Dear brother and sister,
How are you feeling today? Perhaps the Covid-19 pandemic has taken a toll on you. Working at home brings conveniences – but problems too! Fatigue from non-stop work with no more borders in your life-work continuum, misunderstandings with colleagues because of little chance to meet in person and smooth things out, strains with family due to extended periods of having to be together in a less than spacious living-cum-working environment. Retrenchment hits and there is no sign you will get another job soon. You have been diagnosed with a major illness and it is tough going. You just feel exhausted and downcast – and are wondering how your faith in God makes sense in all of this. Are you missing something, you ask?
Two people were walking along feeling this way, though their reasons were different back then (Luke 24:13-35). They had been disciples of Jesus, respected him greatly, and were expecting that he would lead the nation out of Roman rule. But things went very wrong; he was arrested, wrongly condemned, crucified, and buried – Three days had passed since, and they were completely dejected.
A stranger joined them in their walk and showed interest in them and asked questions about their conversation. They were surprised he did not seem aware of what had happened over the weekend – everybody in Jerusalem should have known! In their dejection they explained what happened and poured out their grief and disappointment to him as they walked.
The stranger then did something special for them – he reminded them of writings of old from which their rabbis taught, and they were familiar with – but had not connected to Jesus’ death on the cross. He explained that what had happened to Jesus had been foretold in the scriptures and had to happen for God’s plans to be fulfilled. Slowly, it all began to fall into place; now they understood that this was what Jesus himself taught them while he was alive, and had told them to expect. Gloom started to lift with the knowledge this man imparted; they began reflecting deeply.
When the stranger appeared to keep walking where their journey ended, they pleaded with him to stay. During the meal he did another significant thing for them – though a guest, he assumed the role of host, broke the bread, and gave it to them. Suddenly their eyes were opened to this most fantastic discovery – the stranger was Jesus, and indeed, he was alive once again.
Come back to your own situation today.
Though we know the truths of the Bible which have been taught to us, we can end up downcast when we look at our situation without Jesus’ sight. But he is the gracious Saviour. If we don’t shut Him out, he always finds a way to join us in our journey. And when we pour out our griefs and struggles to him along the walk, he gives us understanding, wisdom and strength to continue and await His plans to be worked out in us. Then, refreshed, we are often driven to express appreciatively like the two dejected travellers; “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” (Luke 24:32).
This Lent may our gracious Saviour once again revive flagging zeal for Him and strengthen your faith through all the struggles you are facing in life.
God Bless you,
By Daniel John