But We Had Hoped….

from Bill Sayer

I am sure we have all experienced our hopes dashed by the circumstances of life. Perhaps the expectation of a new job, home, life-partner…… We have our hopes and dreams firmly fixed on a seemingly natural and logical way forward, only to find that the certain way forward is blocked by the stuff of life.

Some months ago, Mary and I were given a set of clear directions to follow to get us to our destination in our car. The first half of the trip followed exactly the directions we were given, and then we met….. a ROAD BLOCK. The way was no longer clear due to road repairs at a bridge, and we needed to turn around and negotiate for ourselves a new, longer, more time-consuming route to our destination.

We sometimes hit road blocks in our own personal lives. Things are progressing much as we expect, but suddenly we hit a road block that we didn’t see coming. This was the case for Jesus’ followers. Jesus seemed to be cruising on the crest of the wave of ever-increasing popular support until, horror of horrors, this man whom many expected would become the redeemer-king of Israel, dies! You can immediately sympathise with Cleopas and friend whom Jesus met on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13 – 32). Perhaps the saddest words in this passage are uttered by Cleopas, “….but we had hoped….” (Luke 24:21).

The sadness that Cleopas and friend expressed was not limited to them only; Mary Magdalene and the other disciples had also hoped for King Jesus to take His rightful place…….

How should we respond when things don’t turn out as we expect, or our prayers are seemingly met with the road blocks of life, and we say like Cleopas “but we had hoped……“?

  • Mary Magdalene went to the tomb to grieve. There she saw two angels, and…. met Jesus. It is OK for us to grieve over life’s traumas, but in the midst of the sadness and turmoil, Jesus reveals Himself, calling us personally by name just as He did with Mary (John 20:16). Jesus never forsakes us, even when things look bleak; He desires an unbroken relationship with us.
  • Do not forget God’s word when things seemingly go wrong in life. Cleopas says, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” (Luke 24:32) God desires to give us a new perspective on things, if we remain open to the Holy Spirit’s leading/ teaching.

For Cleopas and friend, it was like they had hit a road block! They immediately turned around and sped back to Jerusalem to tell the disciples of their encounter with Jesus. In the same way, we too can encourage others who are grappling with the same feelings of
we had hoped“, by comforting them with the comfort we have received from God
(2 Corin. 1:3 – 7).

Bill Sayer