“We had hoped he was the Messiah who had come to rescue Israel. This all happened three days ago.” (Luke 24:21)
Hopes can be dashed, just like these men. Their most recent report was that of an empty tomb and they couldn’t make sense of it. Turns out they were correct; Jesus was the Messiah they were waiting for. But they didn’t know it at the time. They were in a time of discouragement, dealing with their uncertainty of next steps. Their only sure steps were away from Jerusalem, on a 7-mile walk back home to Emmaus (Luke 24:13, 29)
We had a similar time of discouragement on our church-planting team in the mid-to-late 90s. Several people left, for a variety of reasons – illness, conflict, family needs, call to a new ministry, disenchantment with our current team. Some who remained wondered, “How can we go on without those people?”
That was the wrong question.
The focus was on all the people leaving. It completely missed those of us who still remained and what we all had to offer. As it turned out, by God’s divine foresight, the ones left on the team were the ones with the gifts and skills needed for what God would be doing next.
And as it turned out for the two men going to Emmaus, the ones left who Jesus appeared to after his resurrection were the ones with the gifts and skills needed for what God would be doing next.
Sometimes our focus is on who isn’t there, instead of who is. And we can miss those with the gifts and skills needed for what God wants to be doing next in us.
Til next week,
Thanks Dan! So those of us who remain should focus on what God is doing now and next, not on our disappointment in being “left” or part of a smaller team! I have the same kind of feelings sometimes when some of the CPCC staff go on to other places where God is leading them. Your reminder encourages me (us) to shine where we are and use our gifts for His glory, as limited as our gifts might seem to us.