Walking is my escape when the chaos of this world seems to close in around me. When the “high seas” of life begin to build, my first instinct has been to isolate myself. Years ago, when I found myself in the throes of depression, isolation was what I sought. I was constantly walking away from the company of people. When I had to be with others, I masked the turmoil inside for as long as I could stand, and then I would find a reprieve in the stall of a restroom, isolated.

When troubles come; when we experience dashed hopes and dreams, we often withdraw from those who could actually offer encouragement; those who could help build us up. This is why Jesus places so much emphasis on being in the body, being in fellowship with his followers.

In the story of the two disciples walking on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35), we see that these two, in their dashed hopes of who Jesus was to be, were walking away from the fellowship of Jesus’ followers who were still in Jerusalem. “They had missed the significance of history’s greatest event because they were too wrapped up in their own disappointments and troubles, but to make matters worse, they were walking in the wrong direction” (NLT Commentary). They were isolating themselves from the strength of the body that Jesus had brought together. In this account, Jesus demonstrates to us that it is when we are looking for Jesus in the midst of our troubles that we experience the power and help he can usher in for us, and often that comes through the body of believers, those He has prepared to come alongside you.

Are you, right now, experiencing clouded vision due to frustrated plans or dashed hopes and dreams? In what direction are you walking? Are you, like the two on the road to Emmaus, walking with your head down rehearsing over and over in your head those troubles and disappointments, isolating yourself from those whom Jesus put together to help you? Lift your head, focus your eyes on Jesus. See that he is walking with you, wanting you to change direction, and begin walking in the same direction as those who are following after him. Life on this earth can be long and hard, but if we walk together in the same direction, with our eyes on our Shepherd, the journey will hold more comfort and joy along the way.

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