Daily D – Luke 24:33-34
And within the hour they were on their way back to Jerusalem. There they found the eleven disciples and the others who had gathered with them, who said, “The Lord has really risen! He appeared to Peter.” LUKE 24:33-34 (NLT)
What is the farthest distance you have run? For my bride and me, it was thirteen point one miles. This is the measurement of a half-marathon. It was a couple of years after we moved back to the Metroplex when we trained for this race to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. We got up extra early on Saturdays to drive to Lake Grapevine and joined a group of runners all on the same mission.
Those early mornings are precious memories. Each week we added a mile to our runs until we got to ten miles. Then we backed off leading up to the race. It was extremely cold on the morning of the race. We had to stand outside with our starting group for way too long. It took about six miles to warm up and stretch out good. Then I felt like I could run all day.
We planned to run a full marathon two weeks after the half. However, the half took such a toll on our bodies that we were not able to participate in that next event. Now the mean doctor says I cannot run anymore. We jogged briefly as we crossed the busy street near our house while taking our dogs for a walk yesterday. That felt so good! I wanted more, much more.
Go back to Luke 24:13 and notice how far Emmaus was from Jerusalem. It was seven miles away. It takes around fifteen minutes to walk a mile at a steady pace. Depending on when Jesus joined the two men on their journey, he spent an hour-and-a-half or more with them talking about “the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining from the Scriptures all the things concerning himself,” (v. 27). How would you like to spend a couple of hours with Jesus right after the resurrection and hear him connect all the dots of the Old Testament leading up to that moment?
“As they sat down to eat, he took the bread and blessed it. Then he broke it and gave it to them. Suddenly, their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And at that moment he disappeared!”
(vv. 30, 31).
Then these two men who had just walked seven miles hustled back up the same path. That is fourteen miles. A seven-mile walk followed by a seven-mile run is a good day of exercise. Come to think of it, if you read the Gospels carefully, you notice that from Easter Sunday morning until that evening, there is a lot of running. The women ran. Peter and John ran. No doubt these two men ran.
Something else comes to mind. There probably was not a lot of deep, satisfying sleep going on for a few days. First, the disciples were afraid or too grieved to sleep. Then they were too excited to sleep. It’s a good thing Pentecost was over a month away so that they could adjust to their new reality.
Tomorrow, the governor of Texas is expected to begin opening up the state from our season of lockdown. It will take weeks to fully open up all that has been closed down. It will take months to regain the full activity of our state and our country. It will take a long time to heal the wounds of a world hammered by pandemic.
Hopefully, we have used these weeks of enforced introspection to get to know and experience God more personally, more deeply. Hopefully, we carry this personal transformation with us into whatever lies on the other side of this pandemic. Hopefully, we keep walking the miles with Jesus and running the miles to tell others the good news.
As we move toward Pentecost and Ascension Day, as we move out of our homes and back into our communities, let us refresh others with the refreshment we have experienced at home with Jesus. Let us walk with purpose and run with joy to declare that Jesus lives and that he saves, delivers, and heals.
I will run to tell the good news.
Our Father, thank you for long walks and refreshing runs. Thank you for accompanying us on this journey. Thank you that even though we cannot see you, we can know and experience you. Thank you that even as pandemic has decelerated our economic engines, it has accelerated the advance of the gospel. You cause all things to work together for good to those who love you and are called according to your purpose. Hallelujah! Amen.
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Psalm 139:17, 18 How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!
2 Corinthians 5:1-5 For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands. We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing. For we will put on heavenly bodies; we will not be spirits without bodies. While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life. God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 10:13 The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.