Never truly alone

Then Jesus said to them, “You foolish people! Your dull minds keep you from believing all that the prophets talked about. Wasn’t it necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and then enter into his glory?” Then he interpreted for them the things written about himself in all the scriptures, starting with Moses and going through all the Prophets.

When they came to Emmaus, he acted as if he was going on ahead. But they urged him, saying, “Stay with us. It’s nearly evening, and the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them. After he took his seat at the table with them, he took the bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Their eyes were opened and they recognized him, but he disappeared from their sight. They said to each other, “Weren’t our hearts on fire when he spoke to us along the road and when he explained the scriptures for us?”

They got up right then and returned to Jerusalem. They found the eleven and their companions gathered together. They were saying to each other, “The Lord really has risen! He appeared to Simon!” Then the two disciples described what had happened along the road and how Jesus was made known to them as he broke the bread. ~Luke 24:28-35 (CEB)

“Many theologians declare that God cannot be absent from creation or creature without both ceasing to exist. Trying to convince the broken and empty-hearted of this truth is not an easy task. Why did the author of Psalms and Jesus feel forsaken and alone? The answer is not easy to find, especially for those who experience the absence of God more readily than they experience the presence of God. Jesus was able to move from that forsaken feeling to the confidence and trust of a child as he placed his life and his death fully in the care of God. And the resurrection becomes the final proof that God can be trusted.

Jesus’ journey from that forsaken feeling to confident trust gives hope to us in our times of loneliness and fear of being forsaken. If the theologians are right and God never does forsake us, we can remind ourselves frequently of God’s presence. Establishing a way of life that intentionally makes us present to God is one way of removing the feeling of God’s absence. Regular times of daily prayer and regular times of corporate worship offer opportunities to establish a relationship of companionship with the One who made us and loves us.

If the theologians are wrong and God does indeed become distant and absent, our response will be the same as we call upon God to rescue us from our aloneness, confident that the One who always responds in love and wisdom will restore our sense of companionship. The biblical witness and the witness of the saints who have gone before us testify that God does not leave us alone. Even the apparent final absence of death is not a plunge into darkness but a movement into the light of ultimate companionship with God. So the words of Jesus becomes our own, ‘Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” ~From A Guide to Prayer for All Who Seek God, Ruben P. Job

I find my hope in You O Lord. I find true rest in You. Even when I feel abandoned, You are still with me in the darkness luring me to seek the light. Guide my steps this day so that I may find myself even closer to You. Amen.

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