This week, we will be speaking at West Park Church, the church that I (Emily) grew up in. The church that Phil and I served in together for the first 10 years of our marriage. The church where our children's faith journeys were nurtured through Sunday school classes and VBS lessons taught there. Today, in preparation for speaking, we have been reminiscing about all of the life experiences and lessons that we have picked up from our West Park family along the way… the opportunities that have led us to the point where we are right now... on the road to Emmaus.
It's amazing what looking back on the path of your life can do to help make sense of what is up ahead. The doors that God has opened, the skills that He developed, the experiences that He used... God doesn't waste a second of our lives. He wants to use it all for His glory… if we would only let Him.
The story of the disciples walking the road to Emmaus (found in Luke 24) may not be the most told story in Scripture, but for where we are right now, it is quite relevant. The first reason is quite simple- we can relate to this story because we are preparing to go to a place with the same name (Emmaus Biblical Seminary) and we are on a journey of preparation and support raising in order to get there. (Hence the title of this post- “on the road to Emmaus”…)
The second reason is a bit more complex and can really be summed up in this:
On this life journey that we all walk, we push and we strive to find God and to discover our purpose in His plans. Often times we feel alone or unsure, discouraged and tired, and much of that is because we try to draw from our own strength or trust in our own, limited understanding. But if we pause to see things as they really are, if we stop and reflect on our walk, we will see that He has been there all along… that He has been shaping and molding us so that we are able to handle the next hurdle in the road up ahead, so that we can stay the course despite the trials. Proverbs 3:5 and 6 says it well, “Trust in the Lord with all of your heart, and lean NOT on your own understanding. In all of your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight.”
As we walk the road to Emmaus and look ahead toward what God has called us to do in Haiti, we are reminded that we also need to continually look back and reflect on what God has already been doing. From the very beginning, He has been preparing us for this work and fitting us for His purposes… and He wants to use every experience along the way as we go... 2 Haiti 4 Him.