Disappointments cut deep. They drain the beauty out of our days and steal our joy.
A broken marriage crushes the dream of happily ever after.
A job loss eats up every penny of savings and just like that, the “nest egg” is gone.
A friendship unravels as two people grow apart, leaving loneliness in it’s place.
These are just a few of my disappointments, I suspect you have your own list.
For me, the thing that makes some disappointments more devastating than others, is not seeing God in the midst of them.
Remember the other day when my heart-post was about When Jesus is missing from your pain? Since then, I’ve been kind of looking for other situations like that, when Jesus seemed to be absent. I found another one while reading in Luke…
Just days after Jesus was crucified and rose from the dead, two of the disciples were walking to a village called Emmaus. It was a 7 mile walk, so there was a lot of time to talk. As they were walking, they talked about the events of the past several days. They talked about their disappointment:
“…we hoped he (Jesus) would be the one who was going to redeem Israel.”
Those men left behind everything to follow Jesus. They expected him to bring massive political change to their world and in the aftermath of the cross, in the confusion of the empty tomb…they were face to face with deep disappointment.
The story …their story, wasn’t unfolding as they’d hoped.
And worst of all, where was Jesus now when they needed answers, needed reassurance?
As they talked Jesus came up and started walking with them…the Bible says that they didn’t recognize him. They talked to him like a stranger, because that’s what they saw. They told him the facts of the past few days all tinged dark with their disappointment.
How heavy is the burden of watching unmet expectations die right in front of us.
You probably know the story…Jesus talks to them, explaining everything. From Moses and the prophets he tells them all the things that were said in scripture about him. About his true purpose. Tells them how he had in fact redeemed Israel.
I think in modern day vernacular, you’d say that Jesus changed their paradigm on the walk to Emmaus.
And the story ends hours later, as Jesus joined them for dinner. Sitting around the table, their eyes were opened and they recognized him. He was there all along…
Sometimes, Jesus can’t been seen as we walk through our deepest disappointments. We feel alone and confused. If that’s where you are sweet friends, I pray you’ll be encouraged, that He’s with you. Right where you are, even if you don’t recognize him. He’s there.