“And He said to them, ‘What are these words that you are exchanging with one another as you are walking?’ And they stood still, looking sad.” – Luke 24:17
Ever have an idea about something that ultimately goes almost opposite of what you expected? A man applies to go to Harvard, but ends up selling insurance instead. A tired young mother stares at her unfinished novel on the desk collecting dust, wondering about the road she never took. When life refuses to deliver on our expectations, the effect on us can be devastating.
However, discouragement is nothing new. In Luke 24, two disciples walk on the EmmausRoad. After the crucifixion they embark on a seven-mile walk back home to Emmaus. They discuss what has just taken place, trying to make sense of it all. Jesus was supposed to deliver them from oppression and usher in a new, glorious kingdom. In short, disappointment takes hold of them.
Enter Jesus, who appears as a stranger to these discouraged disciples and asks them what they’re talking about. Put another way, He wants to know how they feel, and they give Him the unvarnished truth of their sadness. We know their pain; when the bills pile up and the bank account shrinks, maybe you’ve wondered where God is in it all. As the marriage becomes stale and the job leaves a sour taste in your mouth, you may have found yourself thinking like the God of the universe has abandoned ship. In those moments, we might do well to remember that our friend Jesus sticks closer than a brother.
Don’t lose heart. God has never left your side and He has a plan to see you through even the most discouraging circumstances. While we may not always understand why we go through such seasons, we can take comfort in knowing that the Lord causes all things to work together for good for those who are called according to His purpose.