And behold, two of them were going that very day to a village named Emmaus, which was about seven miles from Jerusalem. And they were talking with each other about all these things which had taken place.
–Luke 24:13-14 NASB
I can relate a lot to these two followers of Jesus who are trying to make sense out of the events that have just rocked their world and sent everything into a tailspin. When something happens that impacts every facet of our lives – when a loved one receives a “death sentence” diagnosis, when a child struggles with mental health issues, when a dear friend leaves the faith, when the earth shakes so mightily that houses are left in rubble, when communities are rocked with violence and fear, when war shatters lives – we try to make sense out of what is happening as a way to stabilize and normalize our lives. Our minds and bodies are agitated and nervous and are searching for anything that will bring comfort and peace.
How many times in the three years that Jesus walked with His followers did he speak peace to them? “Do not be afraid.” “Go in peace, and sin no more.” “Peace be with you.” As I read such passages, I tend to hear Jesus speaking these words with a calm, soothing tone. So I have to smile when I read how Jesus joins into the conversation about the “. . . prophet, mighty in deed and word . . . who was sentenced to death, and crucified . . .” (Luke 24:10-20 NASB).
Jesus begins, “O foolish men, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken” (Luke 24:25 NASB). No one likes being called a fool; no one likes being found out for what they don’t know. And yet Jesus begins by pointing out what is wrong with their interpretation of the circumstances – they don’t understand the connection between the details of the past week and the bigger picture! Wherever these two followers had been with Jesus, however long and whatever they had seen Him do, they did not understand that it was “necessary for the Messiah to suffer these things and to enter into His glory.” Jesus began to show them how God was acting in His “macro” plan – even though it felt like a disappointment to them in the “micro.”
It’s often the case that we feel quite certain about our belief in God in the “macro” – He created the universe, He knows all things, He is able to work all things together for good . . . but when it comes to the “micro,” there seems to be a disconnect in my pain, in my doubt, in my struggle, and the thoughts begin to creep in: Does God really see me and know what’s going on? Does He really care and have a plan for good for me?
Is there anything going on that is testing your faith in God’s “micro” plan for you today? How we trust Jesus in the micro moments of our lives tells us more about our relationship with God than we often acknowledge. How are you experiencing God’s work in the details of your life? How might you express your trust in God’s goodness and care for you?