This is part 5 in a blog series looking at “Hope For The Weary,” in which we are looking at different people from the Bible who experienced weariness, exploring how God met them in their weariness and looking at what we can learn from their examples about the underlying causes of weariness and some possible solutions. You can find previous posts here:
Part 1: Hope For The Weary
Part 2: When The Burden Is Too Heavy…
Part 3: When You’ve Lost Perspective…
Part 4: When Your Work Seems Fruitless…
As the disciples trudged along the road to Emmaus, their weariness was evident. The stranger who came alongside to walk with them could see it straight away – “sadness written across their faces.” (Luke 24:17 NLT)
Presented with the opportunity to explain, the disciples’ disappointment came pouring out: Hadn’t this stranger heard what had happened to Jesus of Nazareth? His teaching and miracles had led them to hope that he might be the Messiah, but those hopes had been brutally dashed when, a few days earlier, Jesus had been put to death.
That morning, the disciples had heard a report that some of the women from their group had encountered angels who told them that Jesus had risen from the dead, and some of the other disciples had verified that the tomb was empty, but such was the depth of their discouragement and weariness that even these reports didn’t seem to have raised any hope. Otherwise, surely they would have stayed in Jerusalem just in case. Instead, they were plodding back to Emmaus, defeated.
Of course, they didn’t realise that the man walking with them wasn’t really a stranger, but Jesus himself!
In some ways it’s a humorous scene, but I’m sure I have responded similarly at times. Circumstances make no sense, and the disappointment and confusion can cause us to lose hope. It can blind us to the fact that, even in the midst of our discouragement and despair, Jesus is right there with us.
I love the way Jesus gently come alongside these downhearted disciples to alter their perspective and give them fresh hope, and I think he can do the same for us in our times of weariness.
In this series, we are looking at several potential solutions to weariness, each beginning with the letters “Re-,” and today we come to “Reconnect” and “Reevaluate”.
Weariness and disappointment can easily lead us to become disconnected, to withdraw from God and others. It may be the last thing we feel like at these times, but one of the things that can help us is to reconnect, and it’s encouraging that Jesus helps us to do that.
These two disciples had withdrawn from the others in their group and the hope they were offering, but Jesus didn’t give up. He met with them right where they were. He listened to them and he cared.
He also helped them to reevaluate. It might seem surprising that he didn’t reveal his identity right away. That would certainly have swept away their weariness and discouragement, but I’m sure their excitement would have prevented them from paying any attention to what Jesus wanted to say!
Instead, step by step, Jesus took them through the Old Testament Scriptures, explaining what they said about him and how they foretold all that had taken place in Jerusalem over the last few days. (That’s one Bible study I’d love to have witnessed!)
He helped the disciples reevaluate the situation, to see that, rather than being an unexpected catastrophe, all of this was part of God’s plan.
Sometimes our weariness and disillusionment can result from misplaced expectations about what God will do, but it can help to take some time to reconnect with Jesus and allow him to help us reevaluate our thinking. Maybe then we’ll see that he is right there with us and his plan hasn’t failed. A different focus can change a lot!
“Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:1-2 NLT)
“Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus” has always been one of my favourite hymns, but I recently discovered this new version with additional verses – I hope it blesses you today!