As we entered the park, we found a large map outlining several trails. We had no idea what we would encounter on any of the trails so we let the eight-year-old choose. Within minutes of beginning our walk, we could hear the flow of water nearby. The birds were chirping and the wind was blowing the trees ever so gently. It was breathtaking. I had been sending our three teenagers videos through the trip since they stayed back in Florida with Grandma. The trees had grown and were now acting as a canopy over this entire area. As I looked up I could see lush foliage with streams of sunlight peeking through. It seemed like every 50 yards I was sending another video. Our God spoke and this beautiful scene was created!
And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so. God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good. Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seeds in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. Genesis 1:9-11
Have you ever found yourself in that position? Life seems to be going great. You are enjoying the path you are on. Your marriage is great, your kids are obedient, you enjoy your job, and you are growing in the Lord – seemingly a perfect life. Then, out of nowhere, the path changes.
It may be an announcement, “I don’t love you anymore.”
It may be a diagnosis, “You have cancer.”
It may be a rebellious child, “I don’t think God exists.”
It may be a change at your job, “You are being laid off.”
Where was Jesus when your path changed? Why did He allow this to happen?
In Luke, after Jesus’ death and burial, the disciples felt like their path had changed. They probably asked many of the same questions we ask. What now? Why did He allow this to happen?
Grab your Bible and read Luke 24:13-35.
Two disciples were traveling to Emmaus. A man joined the disciples on their path.
He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?” They stood still, their faces downcast. One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you only a visitor to Jerusalem and do not know the things that have happened in the last three days?” Luke 24:17-18
As they continued on the path, the man explains the promises that had been given by God.
He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. Luke 24:25-27
As they approached Emmaus, the man said his goodbyes as he was continuing on. The disciples asked the man to stay with them (verse 29). He agreed. As they sat at the table, the disciple’s eyes were opened as Jesus took the bread and broke it.
When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him and he disappeared from their sight. They asked each other “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” Luke 24:30-32
Can you imagine being so blinded by disappointment and our self-pity that we would not realize the Savior of the World when He was standing beside us? Sadly, we do that more often than we probably care to admit. We don’t see the path ahead; we only see the disappointment we are facing today.
Today, give that disappointing situation to the Lord. He knows the details of it. He understands the hurt you are feeling. He also knows what is ahead. The disciples couldn’t see past their disappointment. They just saw failure and hurt. You have a future. Jesus Christ is shaping you! He can use even the most devastating situations for His glory. He can take that path of disappointment and turn it into a path of delight.
As Scott, Ashley and I continued on our path in Ohio, we soon found ourselves back in the midst of a peaceful, beautiful path. If I would have given up when we were on the sidewalk, I would have missed the best part of the journey!
Don’t give up when you see disappointment. Jesus is right beside you; His Word is full of promises for you. If you turn back now, you may miss the best part of the journey.
Enjoying the journey with two of my loves!
Unless otherwise noted, scripture quoted are from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2010 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.