If you’re wondering where on God’s good earth Emmaus is, I can tell you it is a place somewhere in Israel and I have never actually been to Emmaus. Yet this blog is inspired by the journey of two disciples of Christ to this first-century village after the events of the crucifixion and the third day. I can tell you, even though I know very little about them, I related so much to these two men in the past year.
Luke 24:13-16 Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 They were talking with each other about everything that had happened.
When New Year’s Eve came around at the beginning of 2020, I was facing one of the biggest leaps of faith I had ever made. I was going to leave my country and everything that was familiar to spend 6 months in Norway as part of my Master’s course. As someone who is not very fond of change (especially the life-altering ones), I was a mix of every emotion amplified to a 10. I was excited yet worried, sad yet grateful, lonely yet keenly aware of the love that surrounded me in the form of my family and friends. Little did I know 2020 would be nothing like any other year, not just for me, but for the whole world. What a year to make a leap of faith, eh?
Soon enough, everything fell apart. Every meticulous plan I had made went straight outside my ice-covered window. I watched my confidence erode like sand as many foundations, both personal and global, turned to piles of rubble, incapable of holding everything it was meant to hold. I quickly became like Cleopas, one of the two disciples who were walking to Emmaus. Cleopas and his friend were also walking away from all the destruction and the shaken foundations, away from all the big hopes and dreams that were now crucified and laid in a grave. They were walking away from a grave that has more questions now than answers and away from a bunch of uber-optimistic people who are claiming the impossible in the middle of the unspeakable.
Luke 24:15 As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; 16 but they were kept from recognizing him.
Just like Cleopas and his friend, there were many times when I was blind to Christ walking beside me. In my worst moments, when fear and terror came to overwhelm me, He became just another voice that seemed to be oblivious of what I was going through. My prayers were nothing more than breaking news and updates on my life to God. Often my prayers were made in either fear-riddled pleadings or in a statement of numbness. That scared me more than the irrational-logical fears filling inside my head.
But the saving grace of that time was that even while I was blinded and talking with my minuscule human wisdom, the Lord of heaven and earth, who made the mountains before me and calmed the seas within me, was walking alongside me every day. He would listen, sometimes in silence, and sometimes He would dispel every darkness with a gentle word. Just like He did with Cleopas and his friend, He opened up the scriptures to me and assured me of all that is within the plan and assured me of the victory He has already won.
And it was in the breaking of bread and drinking of the cup, that my blinded eyes were opened again. In me remembering how He was broken so that I can be made whole, in me remembering how His blood was spilled so that I can be marked forever in my spirit and soul. How, regardless of how big my fears seem, the grave will still remain open. And, just like Cleopas and his friend, when my eyes were opened, I was able to return to the place where I belonged. I was able to move again in unmerited favor and regain my confidence in His power. I was able to return home from my road to Emmaus.
If the past year has shaken your foundations as it did mine. If it was the year that brought all you knew to question. If it was the year where your entire hope was hung on a cross, bled to death, and laid in a grave. If you are unable to relate to the words of the faith-filled and the witnesses, I would like to invite you to walk with Jesus alone. Talk to Him in the limited human wisdom you have. Listen to Him in reverence as He talks to you. Let yourself tarry with Him. That is all we need to do in this temporary and tiny span of a lifetime. That is all we need to return from our road to Emmaus.
This blog is the first of a series of blogs written by the leaders of House of Healing Ministries. The series titled ‘Lessons in a Lockdown’ will carry the stories, thoughts, and experiences of our leaders in the past one and half years as they navigated the new normal with Jesus. Stay tuned for our next ‘Lesson in a Lockdown.’