The waves are growing. The heat is intensifying. You wonder if it’s worth it.
You wonder if you’re the only one.
But mostly, you wonder what in the world you’re supposed to do next.
The doctor’s results are in. Your spouse has left. The job is gone. Your child isn’t responding. The conflict seems irreconcilable.
In times of uncertainty and fear, you just have to do the next right thing. Not the next ten years. Not even the whole next day. Just the next right thing on your road of resistance.
And God will meet you on that road.
In the gospels, we read a story about two friends who take a seven-mile walk between Jerusalem and Emmaus. Jesus had just been crucified, and their adventure was over. It was a road of resistance, one that you can imagine was filled with the obstacles of disillusionment and even despair. Hope was gone.
But they put one foot in front of the other, and walked towards Emmaus, where their friends were gathered, to share their sadness and share a meal.
And on that road, they met a stranger who explained everything to them. He met them in their disillusionment and their despair, and talked it through.
Then, as they approached the village, he acted as if he was going to keep moving, but they insisted that he share a meal with them.
And when the bread was passed, he stopped, broke it and blessed it, and they suddenly realized that the stranger was Jesus of Nazareth, who was not dead, but very much alive. After he was gone, they talked with each other about how his words “made their hearts burn within them.”
And so, on your road of resistance, you will meet God. Pay attention, though, because it probably won’t look like God. Watch for strangers and messages that “make your heart burn within you.”
And when you meet the stranger, who gives you what you need, you must invite that stranger in, to sit with you and share a meal with you. And that table is the Lord’s.
We make it really somber and sad usually, a time to reflect on all we’ve done wrong. But when we share this table, it’s a time to celebrate that God is with us, still. Even on our road of resistance. It is the table at which Jesus is the host, and the meal itself.
It is at this table, when we are starving for life that is real, we can come and be filled. Though we are scarred by sin, we can be forgiven. Though we are broken and torn in two, we can be made whole. Though we are lonely, we have a friend who gathers us in.
What do you do when you are on the road of resistance and despair, and you do not know what to do? You get up, put one foot in front of the other, and you will be met by the one in whom all of our roads meet.
In it together, friends.
P.S. Most of you know I’m running the Grand Canyon on September 15th so that 50 Ethiopian women can leave a degrading life of prostitution and receive a new start. On their road of resistance, you can be Jesus with skin on. We’re about a third of the way to our total goal of $50,000. Would you consider donating $25? You can read all about it here, or just go straight to the donate page here.