When Life Seems To Be Falling Apart
We all have days when it feels as if life is falling apart. At times, struggles and disappointments appear to feed off each other and bad news seems to grow at an exponential pace. For some, there are sicknesses that linger for a long period of time or turn chronic in nature, transforming each day into a challenge to simply keep moving forward. For others, there is a job search that never seems to end. All potential leads and interviews continue to produce no fruit. There are other people who wake up each morning to the harsh reality of family pain: a marriage falling apart, prodigal children on the run, or elderly parents struggling with loss of mobility and diminished mental capacity.
When the disciples saw Jesus crucified on the cross, it felt like their world was falling apart. It was probably hard for many of them to get out of bed on the Saturday following Good Friday. Depression and disappointment produced a confusing cloud over their lives because Jesus, the One they had followed for about three years--the One they believed was the Messiah, was dead and buried in the side of a hill. A huge stone--a vivid reminder of the finality of death--had been rolled in front of the tomb entrance.
On resurrection Sunday, two of the disciples were walking to Emmaus, a town located about seven miles from Jerusalem. The exact location of Emmaus is not known today, possibly indicating the small, insignificant nature of the town in the first century. Perhaps the disciples were trying to get out of Jerusalem to help clear their minds and try to make sense of a crucified Messiah. But, regardless of their reasoning for heading to Emmaus, the risen Jesus encountered the two disciples right in the middle of their disappointment and confusion.
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 with them... (Luke 24:14-15)
In one of his amazing resurrection appearances, Jesus miraculously appears to these two disciples in their pain. Jesus is present to them when it appears their hopes in life have all been destroyed. Of all the places Jesus could have been at that moment, he chose to walk with two people who were trying to cope with incredible disappointment and unrealized expectations. Jesus, full of compassion, desired to make himself known to two bewildered and battered souls on the way to nowhere.
In one of the most moving passages of Scripture, the Psalmist writes:
You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways...
Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast... (Psalm 139:1-3,7-10)
These powerful verses remind us of God's omniscience (He knows everything about us, including our location and our mental condition) and His omnipresence (His presence is everywhere, even on the road to Emmaus).
If some of your greatest hopes have been dashed recently...
If you are struggling to understand God's plan because none of your plans have become reality...
If you are feeling alone and abandoned...
Take your eyes off the dusty, rock-strewn road to Emmaus and look into the eyes of the Savior who is walking with you. He comes to those who are feeling lost and provides a Way; He appears to those with tears of frustration and provides comfort; He walks with those who feel weary and don't know how they will have the strength to take another step; He comes to us.