A couple of days ago my heart was so heavy and I was struggling to get past the “why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad?”. It’s as though a cloud of gloom was hanging over my head.
On the day of the resurrection, two of Jesus followers were taking a walk to Emmaus. As they walked, Jesus joined them but they didn’t realize it was He who had joined them because God kept them from recognizing Him. They were really sad and deep in discussion, Jesus interjected and asked what they were so concerned about. Cleopas explained that He seemed to be the only one who hadn’t heard about all the things that had happened the last couple of days. Jesus asked him what exactly had happened.
“The things that happened to Jesus, the man from Nazareth,” they said. “He was a prophet who did powerful miracles, and he was a mighty teacher in the eyes of God and all the people. 20 But our leading priests and other religious leaders handed him over to be condemned to death, and they crucified him. 21 We had hoped he was the Messiah who had come to rescue Israel. This all happened three days ago.
22 “Then some women from our group of his followers were at his tomb early this morning, and they came back with an amazing report. 23 They said his body was missing, and they had seen angels who told them Jesus is alive! 24 Some of our men ran out to see, and sure enough, his body was gone, just as the women had said.”
I was encouraged that when God asks us to bear our hearts and tell Him what is discouraging us, He doesn’t do so because He doesn’t already know. It is possible to feel like He is the only ONE out of the loop yet He is supposed to be on top of things. However, He wants to hear us out. He desires for us to know that we have been heard. The reality is that there is nothing new that we are usually telling Him but He wants us to know that He is able to empathize with our weakness.
Hebrews 4:15 NIV
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet he did not sin. (Many versions use the word sympathize in the place of empathize.)
His heart goes out to us. He doesn’t just ask. He asks because He cares and He too has been there.
When we speak, He responds
25 Then Jesus said to them, “You foolish people! You find it so hard to believe all that the prophets wrote in the Scriptures. 26 Wasn’t it clearly predicted that the Messiah would have to suffer all these things before entering his glory?” 27 Then Jesus took them through the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining from all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.
He tells the truth as it is. He will not sugar coat things to make us ‘happy’ (temporarily) but He speaks the truth that our minds may be transformed. His truth sets us FREE from every thought pattern that takes us captive.
When you encounter Him you don’t get sated. You desire more of Him, you want the conversation to go on for much longer.
28 By this time they were nearing Emmaus and the end of their journey. Jesus acted as if he were going on, 29 but they begged him, “Stay the night with us, since it is getting late.” So he went home with them. 30 As they sat down to eat, he took the bread and blessed it. Then he broke it and gave it to them. 31 Suddenly, their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And at that moment he disappeared!
In His time, He will reveal Himself to us.
32 They said to each other, “Didn’t our hearts feels strangely warm as he talked with us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?”
I paused. Indeed I too had felt a ‘strange warmth’ in my heart. The warm fuzzies. He had fanned the flame within and the result was such warmth. I have put my hope in Him and I will continue to praise him.
May your heart feel the warm fuzzies as His Spirit teaches you and explains to you His word. May His fire burn within your heart. Be careful though, that the depth of your relationship with Him is not restricted to a measure on a fuzzy scale. There is much more to your relationship with Him than your emotions can contain or even measure. May He minister to you and let you know that He is right there next to you; He has always been, even when He did not let you see Him. His word remains true, He will never leave you nor forsake you.