Been talking a lot lately about what it means to live fearlessly… to be free of nagging worries, anxious thoughts, and crippling fears. For most of us, it’s an ongoing battle. I’ve been preaching to my own soul as well as yours:
Don’t give up. Don’t give in. No matter how long it takes. Wherever you are on your journey, keep moving forward. Step by step, day by day.
Keep learning, keep growing. Keep challenging yourself to step outside your comfort zone.
Dare to do new and different things you’ve only dreamed of. Things you’ve NEVER dreamed of! Be bold and courageous.
Of course there are days when being adventurous is the last thing on our minds. Dark days, when our journey takes a turn we didn’t expect. Days when the road seems long, and the way uncertain. It takes all the courage we’ve got, just to put one foot in front of the other. We’re not sure you can take another step.
Luke 24:13-35 tells us of a time when two of Jesus’ disciples felt that way. They were terribly confused, deeply discouraged. Lonely and afraid. Their world had fallen to pieces. Everything they thought they knew. It seemed like God Himself had turned His back on them. Turned His back on Jesus. Left Him to die on the cross. As far as the disciples were concerned, the situation could not have been more desperate, more hopeless.
Weary and heavy-hearted, they headed down the road to Emmaus. A Stranger came and walked along beside them. Before they knew it, they were pouring their hearts out to Him, telling Him all their troubles.
Then it was the Stranger’s turn to speak. He took them back through the story they had just told Him and told it to them – from a completely different perspective. He filled in all kinds of details they had never noticed, told them all the things they hadn’t seen and explained the meaning of the things they had. The Light was beginning to dawn on them.
As night drew near, they reached the village where the disciples intended to stay, and it seemed the Stranger was about to leave them. They begged Him not to go, but stay, and join them for the evening meal. As He gave thanks and broke the bread, their eyes were opened. Finally, they could see. It was Jesus Himself. He had been with them all the time.
The disciples’ experience on the road to Emmaus speaks so powerfully to us today. It reminds us that in our darkest moments, help will come. Jesus will come. He will walk beside us. He will comfort us with His presence. He will open our eyes to His truth and show us things we’ve never seen before. He will bring us out of darkness into His wonderful light.
What a precious promise! What a glorious hope!
“Therefore we will not fear….” (Psalm 46:2)
In the words of St. Augustine:
God of Our Life,
There are days when the burdens we carry chafe our shoulders and weigh us down; when the road seems dreary and endless, the skies gray and threatening; when our lives have no music in them, and our hearts are lonely, and our souls have lost their courage.
Flood the path with light, run our eyes to where the skies are full of promise; tune our hearts to brave music; give us the sense of comradeship with heroes and saints of every age; and so quicken our spirits that we may be able to encourage the souls of all who journey with us on the road of life, to Your honor and glory.
*Parts of this post are excerpted from What Women Should Know About Facing Fear. If you think of it, I’d be so grateful for your prayers! I’m headed to Alaska tomorrow to speak at a women’s conference. I’m asking God to move mightily in our hearts and lives and for traveling mercies — it’s a long way from Florida and I’m still on crutches after my knee fracture. Thank you!