My brother and I went skiing one year. He really isn’t an outdoors man, or a fan of the cold. However, he gave it his best shot. I told him he should go to the ski school classes so he could be familiar with the basics. While he was in ski school I stayed on the bunny slopes to wait for him. I noticed him leaving ski school backwards. I started yelling at him to stop and he just yelled back that he was out of control. He went until he crashed. He told me he wasn’t going back to school and he would just go with me.
So we got on the chair lift. He crashed getting off and they stopped the whole thing. We got to the first slope he just slid slightly off the run and hit a tree. Thank God it wasn’t that fast. Then he started down the hill. Next thing I know, he was sitting on his skis with his poles tucked under his harms. Then he crashed into the fence at the bottom.
He has never gone skiing again. He really isn’t interested in it and told me that there is no fun to be had. He wanted to put the day behind him and get rid of the bad experience. I understand all too well. In looking at the last year are there some things you want to put behind you? Have you experienced struggles, trials, tribulations, bad choices, let downs or disappointments?
Luke 24:13 to the end of the chapter talks about the disappointment some of Jesus’ friends experienced after his death. Think of the disappointment. We all have lost someone, but when it is unjust it is even more frustrating. Alphaeus known as cleopas and his wife Mary lived in Emmaus where which was about 7 miles from Jerusalem. Cleopas and Mary were so upset. They felt despair. They were broken hearted.
There are circumstances where we were absolutely disappointed. We become so caught up in the circumstance, that we are unable to see the world around us. This tunnel vision creates preconceived notions within our mind and reduces our ability to receive inspiration. Jesus walked up beside them while they were mourning on their way home. They couldn’t recognize Jesus because of their devotion to their circumstance.
Jesus asked them what they were talking about. Cleopas asked him if he had paid attention to what had occurred with Jesus of Nazareth to crucifixion and how he was falsely accused and crucified. Cleopas also began to explain how devastated they were as they thought this was going to be The Savior, the prophesied king of the Jews which was now completely devastated.
When you have your own circumstances which are so devastating you are unable to listen to the voice of reason, you are unable to hear wisdom, and you can’t recognize who’s there to help you and who isn’t. You don’t even see Jesus walking beside you talking with you. We can’t get caught up in our own sorrows and allow the tears to blur our vision. As soon as you have committed to self-soothing, you have also committed to a reduction in blessing.
Jesus then rebuked them by explaining how many of the things Jesus had to do to fulfill prophecy, and it had to be this way for his sacrifice to be legitimate. He then ate with them. As he broke the bread and gave it to them they realized it was Jesus.
This is why we pray, worship, participate in communion and go to church. These worship mechanisms are the very actions which clear our thinking, and increase our wisdom. It also brings more joy, peace and happiness in our lives. Jesus then vanished. They jumped up and ran to Jerusalem to tell the 11 apostles what they saw and what happened.
Speaking of apostles, this is our year and we can learn a lot from Peter. Peter is often referred to as a hypocrite, a doubter, uneducated and a fool. Jesus never saw him that way. He doesn’t see you that way either. Peter had a sinful life, and was ashamed to speak about it in the presence of Jesus. He cut off a man’s ear. He learned to forgive 70x7. He learned you can only enjoy the mountaintop for a while, but you have to leave it in order to continue on your destiny. He denied Jesus three times. He felt unworthy for Jesus to wash his feet. He became a monumental witness for Christ, his name is mentioned more in the New Testament than any other apostle including Paul.
Peter got a gold coin from my fish’s mouth to pay tax. He taught us to cast our cares on Christ. In the end he was killed for the sake of God and chose to be hung upside down on the cross because he did not want to be hung the same way Jesus was. Just like you and me, Peter had the best of intentions, but he was far from perfect.
Peter let go of his past in order to walk forward. While walking on the water he then began to look around which hindered the miracle. He walked on water not because he was miraculous, but because he was obedient. This year we are to be obedient. Peter grew and bloomed. Christ grows us and helps us bloom. Bloom where you are planted.
This year you will bloom.
Don’t let your circumstances cloud your vision. Don’t get so caught up in the moment. Don’t let your past hold you back. Gods plan is unexplainable and yet divine. This is your year don’t let the devil steal it. Good things are coming. I believe you will walk through this year watching ahead with clear eyes. Don’t miss opportunities to be blessed when you are too busy licking your wounds.
Don’t let the tears cover your miracle. Cleopas and Mary experienced that. Learn from the circumstance. Your beginning doesn't predict your end. Last year may have had setbacks all of their own, but this year ....... It’s your year!
Philip Lukens is the senior pastor of the Carr Community Church. To receive updates please enter your e-mail address below and click subscribe.
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