Read: Luke 24:13-35; Romans 8:31-39
I had just finished paying for my groceries when I was surprised by a question that was asked by a store employee. She wondered if my friend and I would each like a poinsettia. It was a few days after Christmas, and these small holiday favorites hadn't sold. They had become a bit fragile, but the employee kindly found two that were in pretty good shape. When I got my treasure home, I noticed that it was dropping some leaves. Even so, my husband watered it and placed it where it can receive indirect light; so, who knows? It might thrive. As I have thought about that little plant, I wonder if it isn't a fairly good representation of how we have been feeling this past year. Haven't we felt fragile as we have watched and sometimes experienced the ever-changing events of the year? Like the poinsettia, I sometimes have felt wilted and weary. Just when we have thought we might be turning a corner, the path changed and we were back to square one. Another leaf dropped off.
What's interesting to remember at times like this is that the same remedy that might perk up our poinsettia is the same thing that I need when all that I see makes me feel so fragile. At times like these, I need the water of God's Word and His truth that is the light for my path, Psalm 119:105. It is when I receive God's truth and act on it that His hope begins to buoy me up. Let's look at how God's truth strengthened and brought joy to two men whose loss of hope had really caused them to wilt.
We meet these two gentlemen in Luke 24:13-35. One is named Cleopas, and the other one is not named. I picture them walking slowly and talking in subdued tones. Perhaps their shoulders were somewhat slumped. We can understand why this was the case because we are a lot like them. Yes, they had been told by the women about a vision of angels. And yes, they had been told that Jesus was alive, but they had watched Him die, and they didn't believe the amazing things the women had said. Their ears heard truth, but it didn't change their countenances because they didn't believe what they were told. I love how Jesus first questioned them as to their sadness and then turned their thinking around by reminding them of truth. He told them things that they had heard but hadn't put together with what had gone on right before their eyes. I can't read this account without wishing that the two men had written down everything Jesus said to them. Imagine the truths that Jesus unfolded as they walked.
Even so, they only truly understood what Jesus said when they came to know that it was the Master Who had been with them as they walked on the road. Then they understood that it was Jesus' presence and truth that had caused their hearts to burn, even as He reminded them of what had been written in the scriptures. No wonder they went straight back to the others to buoy up their hopes with the truth they now believed.
As we begin 2022, we need the same thing Cleopas and his friend needed that day on the road. We need the hope Jesus wants to give us that comes from being immersed in His word and guided by His truth. With everything swirling around us, it is so easy to become overwhelmed. We feel fragile because we are, Psalm 103:14. Yes, we overwhelmingly conquer through Jesus, Romans 8:37. He will finish what He has begun in our lives, Philippians 1:6. We are reminded of God's love, promises and resources as we continue to run to Him to be replenished with His power and His truth. It is so easy to forget how much the Savior loves us and that the battle is His not ours. It is the Holy Spirit Who accomplishes His will through us, Zechariah 4:6. Even if we are weary and feel fragile, God's truth never wanes because He never lies, nor can He, Titus 1:2.
It comes down to every-day choices. We admit our weakness while resting in God's promised strength. Do we do it perfectly? I surely don't. It is easy for me to feel like that small poinsettia. So in need of water and light from the Master Gardener. The good thing? Unlike our little plant that might or might not thrive, God has promised that He won't fail to buoy us up. He is the One Who is for us, Romans 8:31. He has promised that He Who provided the Savior will also give us everything else we need, Romans 8:32.
In addition to these truths, weary or not, nothing can separate us from God's love, Romans 8:38-39. We are held and kept securely in the Savior's love no matter how strong or weak we might feel. Need more hope for your current circumstances? Because of God's truth we have hope for today because as Christmas truth reminds us. Nothing is impossible with God, Luke 1:37.
May the Lord provide New Year Blessings and His grace for each day.