There are many circumstances in life that can leave us feeling sad, devastated, shocked and disappointed in God. It can end up being a moment in our life where we are stopped in our faith tracks and can not seem to put one foot in front of the other. Our trust in God is paralyzed by questions that come from heartache and fear about what we have experienced. We may feel in our hearts that God has moved far away from us, even when our head reminds us that He promised to never leave us.
One day there were two disciples who were walking the dusty road to Emmaus. It was a few days after Jesus had been crucified and they felt abandoned and confused. They were probably questioning what they would do next because they had put all their hope and faith in Jesus. They believed in him and had given up their lives to follow him.
But now all that was over. In a matter of a few days, their hopes and dreams ended at Golgotha. What had just happened? There are probably few words to describe adequately the pain of disappointment and betrayal they felt. They left Jerusalem, trying to make sense of it all as they walked home. The sadness covered their faces. “We had hoped he was the One to redeem Israel.”
It is very likely that much of their discussion was asking the hard questions that would help make sense of such disappointment. “How could God let this happen?” Or, “How did we not see this coming?” There was plenty of time for questioning on a seven-mile walk.
They arrived at home and began breaking break with a stranger who joined them on the road. It was then that they recognized who he was. Their eyes were opened. Sadness turned to joy and despair turned to celebration.
This story demonstrates several things when we are feeling disappointed in God. We, like the disciples, walk through heartbreaking experiences and because of our weariness we can’t see Jesus walking with us on our roads of sadness and despair. He has not left us; he promised he never will. He opens our hearts with scripture to give new perspective about the ways of God so that we can move forward. God’s message to us is always that he will make a way for us because he cares for us. His sovereign will never change. Human choices can thwart that will, but it does not mean God has abandoned us. It is at that moment that we honestly admit that we do not understand all that happens, but we know that he continues to walk with us through it.
In our life journeys we ask questions that come from places of gut-wrenching realities. David did it often. Is God unfair? Is he unjust? No, because “The Lord is righteous in all his ways” Psalm 145:17. Has God abandoned me? Is he hidden from me? No, David admits, “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?” Psalm 139:7. Has God abandoned me? Is he ignoring me? No, he told Jeremiah, “Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known” (Jeremiah 33:3).
Disappointed in God? He will open our eyes to see him walking with us.