By Lindsay Cox
I used to tell people that my biggest fear was failure, but then I realized (last week) that I’ve failed at more things than I’ve succeeded at. I almost welcome the opportunity to fail so that I can learn and move forward. Almost.
If I’m completely honest, I don’t think fear is being scared of something. It can be, but I think that fear is a symptom of a much bigger problem. Frankly, if fear keeps you up at night, you have trust issues. I know those are fighting words, so let me explain.
After Jesus resurrected on the third day, He appeared to over 500 people. Two of those people were Cleopas and his unnamed companion who were on a road that headed away from Jerusalem, the place where Jesus was crucified and buried, and where the Holy Spirit would soon appear.
When Jesus walked up behind them and asked why they were downcast, Luke tells us they were kept from recognizing who He was (Luke 24:16). Jesus asked what they were discussing and they answered:
“About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. The chief priests and rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel…” Luke 24: 19-21(emphasis added)
Cleopas is leaving Jerusalem because he’s afraid. He’s afraid that Jesus wasn’t who He said He was.
While our trust issues stretch all the way back to Genesis, this one illustration allows us to see clearly why we are blind to what God is teaching us in our situation.
If you notice the words I emphasized in the passage, their hope was gone. Shattered. Every hope they had for the redemption of the Israelites vanished the moment Jesus was put into the tomb. And, to me, this is ironic. Jesus predicted His death and resurrection at least three times before this encounter with Cleopas. Yet, Cleopas is leaving on the third day – before the Main Event even happened!
We fear things we don’t understand. We fear things that don’t happen on our timeline. We fear things that don’t go exactly as planned.
But when we allow fear to rule our decisions and take away our hope, we’ll find ourselves headed down our own road away from the promises of God. We’re ultimately saying that we don’t believe in what He said He would provide.
Cleopas and his companion followed Jesus long enough to know who He was and what He came to do. They were that close and they didn’t recognize who the Man on the road was until after He left them (Luke 24: 30-35). It was only then that they turned back towards Jerusalem – just in time.
Aren’t you grateful to have a Savior that will meet you on the road you’re not supposed to be on and redirect your course?
Don’t allow your fear to blind you of what God is doing right in front of you. What you choose to see is up to you.