“They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” Luke 24:32
The Scriptures have many metaphors for our walk with God. The use of the term “walk” to describe our relationship to God is apt. For example, the Bible sees our relationship with God as a journey, one that we takes with Him.
Father Henri Nouwen refers to this when he writes:
“Dear Lord, I will remain restless, tense and dissatisfied until I can be totally at peace within your house. But I am still on the road, still journeying, still tired and weary, and still wondering if I will ever make it to the city on the hill. With Vincent Van Gogh I keep asking your angel, whom I meet on the road, ’Does the road then go uphill all the way?’ And the answer is ‘Yes, to the very end.’ And I ask again ‘And will the journey take all day long?’ And the answer is ‘from morning to night, my friend.’”
Today I was wrestling with a matter and said to God, “Lord, I don’t know the way.” Immediately the words of Jesus came to my heart. Those words from Scripture told me “I am the way, the truth and the life. No man goes to the Father except by me.” (John 14:6)
Peter learned this truth when he saw Jesus walking on the water. He asked the Lord if he could come to Him and Jesus beckoned him to do so. A stormy sea is not your normal road on which to take a walk. Peter became frightened and began to sink, but when he looked to Jesus he was rescued.
The Life Recovery Bible comments on Peter’s fear:
“Courage isn’t the absence of fear. Courage means we take advantage of the little strength we find within ourself, and that we stubbornly stick to God’s program for us. Courage doesn’t mean being free of fear. It means finding enough strength to take the next step.”
I don’t know the way, but Jesus does, and with Him I can take the next step.
Nouwen also notes that the Scriptures use words for the term ‘home’ both in the Old and New Testament. The journey is meant to take us “home”, another metaphor. Our home is where he is. Jesus has made his home in us. Thus, even though I am far away from my family at this hour, my true home is where Jesus resides—in my heart.
Nouwen writes, “When Jesus says ‘make your home in me as I make mine in you’, he offers us an intimate place that we can truly call ‘home’. Home is that place or space where we do not have to be afraid but can let go of our defenses and be free, free from pressures. Home is where we can laugh and cry, embrace and dance, sleep long and dream quietly, eat, read, play watch the fire, listen to music, and be with a friend. Home is where we can rest and be healed. The word ‘home’ gathers a wide range of feelings and emotions up into one image, the image of a house where it is good to be: the house of love.”
The priest points out that millions today are homeless. They do not have this place of love. This point of Nouwen’s is brought out every day in our news as the influx of Central American children plays out on our southern border here in the United States. These children bring with them poverty, disease and trauma. Having no home is a tragedy of immense proportions. For those of us who follow Jesus, we always have a home with Him.
A recent pop song sung by American Idol winner Phillip Phillips could have been penned by Jesus. It talks of home.
“Hold on, to me as we go
As we roll down this unfamiliar road
And although this wave is stringing us along
Just know you’re not alone
‘Cause I’m going to make this place your home
Settle down, it’ll all be clear
Don’t pay no mind to the demons
They fill you with fear
The trouble it might drag you down
If you get lost, you can always be found
Just know you’re not alone
‘Cause I’m going to make this place your home. “ (Written by Drew Pearson and Greg Holden).
“This place” is whereever Jesus is. Whatever road He goes down, I’m going with Him and He with me.