Thursday, June 2, 2011
The Road to Emmaus
Often times we hear protests from others, even from fellow Christians. Protesting verbally, and maybe even spiritually about being able to see God. Why has God left me alone? Why can't I see Him? I need a sign to show me He still cares! We are often just like Thomas, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” John 20:25
Yet, Jesus gave us several examples about how God appears to us in the simple story of the road to Emmaus. (Luke 24) Two disciples were walking along the road to Emmaus when someone walked up and asked why they were sad. They said, How can you not know? Have you been out of town? Jesus was crucified today. The fellow then taught them about the scriptures and the prophets and how they testified of Jesus. They talked for a long time and as they approached their destination, they asked him to spend some time with them. They didn't recognize that it was in fact Jesus talking to them, until he went to break bread at dinner.
What does this teach us about God? It reminds us that often times we only see God when He is blessing us. We only notice what He's doing when He is breaking bread, that is about to feed us. We see God in our lives when someone gets a job after being unemployed for a long time. We see God in our lives when someone miraculously lives through a car wreck that should have killed them. We see God when we are healed from some pain that has been there a long time.
But do we always see God when he's right there? What about when things aren't going so well? When we are sad about someone dying? His disciples were distraught because they had just lost their master and their friend. They couldn't see God with Him standing right in front of them, saying don't be afraid! Instead they were in sorrow and wandering, not sure what to do with their life. It wasn't until God's hand stretched forth with sustenance that they said “Did you see that? That was God!”
Remember that right now we see through a veil, a shadow, as if looking in a mirror. We will see God face to face one day, but for now we can only see glimpses of Him. Look for Him in the flower after the thunder storm, still dripping with dew. Look for Him in the morning sunlight, warming your face and caressing your skin. Look for Him in the gentle breeze on a hot summer afternoon, bringing comfort and soothing sweat drenched shoulders. Look for Him in the face of a newborn child, still glowing and looking out with unconditional love. But above all, look for Him! You'll be surprised to find He's been there all along, you just failed to recognize Him!
Matthew 5:8 - Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.