“Suddenly, their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And at that moment he disappeared!” (Luke 24:31 NLT)
Ever feel like God is a million miles away? The truth is, he’s not. Whatever struggle you’re going through, you can rest assured you’re not alone. You have God in your corner.
But you’re not the only one who has ever wondered where God was during a struggle. On the very first Easter morning, right after Jesus’ Crucifixion, the disciples wondered the same thing. In Luke 24, we learn about one particular pair of these disciples who were walking down the road to Emmaus, talking about all that had transpired over the past few days — Jesus’ arrest, beating, Crucifixion — and trying to make sense of it all. They thought Jesus was the Messiah; their dream was crushed. They had heard reports that Jesus’ grave was empty. They were very confused.
Suddenly Jesus himself came alongside the disciples and joined them in their journey. Yet they were in so much grief, they didn’t notice him. Jesus asked about what they were discussing, and so the disciples let him in on the discussion. Jesus went on to share Old Testament passages that explained the events of the past few days.
That night, as they ate dinner with Jesus, the Bible says that “Suddenly, their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And at that moment he disappeared!” (Luke 24:31 NLT)
Imagine what that experience was like for these disciples. The guy they thought was God was crucified and dead. Then they hear he’s been resurrected, but they don’t believe it. Then a stranger walks along the road with them, eats with them, and suddenly they realize that it’s God himself! And then he disappears.
The disciples couldn’t see Jesus in their grief. They needed God to show himself to them.
You do, too. I don’t know what you’ve lost this year — whether it’s a loved one, your health, your job, a relationship, or a really big deal. But, if you’ve had a loss like that, you may have missed the fact that God has walked through the entire experience with you.
You were never, ever alone during that time. You couldn’t see him, but he was there.
Ask God to show himself to you. He wants you to see him. He wants you to know you were never alone.
Talk About It
- How does God show his presence to you?
- How do you think grief blinds us to the ways that God is providing for us?
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America’s largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller The Purpose Driven Life. His book, The Purpose Driven Church, was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.
This devotional © 2012 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.