Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him.Luke 24:13–16
Have you ever felt invisible?
There was a season when my husband and I took turns facing loss after loss. Sickness and deaths in the family came one after another. We coped as best we could, and by God’s grace, we grew stronger together. Yet, I sometimes felt invisible to my husband on hard days, and he admitted to feeling the same. It was hard to see each other grieving, especially when grief doesn’t stop. When one faced a new loss, the other was still enduring old ones.
While I couldn’t expect perfection from a human relationship, a perfect God would definitely show up, right? But I felt invisible to Him too. I could not figure out where He was when I felt confused and lost. I wondered, doesn’t He care?!
Unpacking today’s passage, we see two people talking about what they had just experienced—betrayal, death, and abandonment. They couldn’t make sense of it. A “stranger” came alongside them, and they talked about it with Him, but “they were kept from recognizing him.” Why didn’t Jesus make Himself known to them as they walked? We don’t know—maybe He wanted to give them space to connect what had just happened to everything that came before, from Jesus’ birth and death to the impact of the entire salvation plan.
A professor once told me that he who does the work does the learning. In hindsight, I can see why God might have disguised himself from me during tumultuous times. I believe He was inviting me into growth, giving me the chance to wrestle with my circumstances and grapple with myself. God made himself invisible to allow space for me to be present and process.
When I look back, I can see now that God was there—stopping tumors, comforting broken hearts, mending relationships, and giving me quiet solitude. When I thought He simply didn’t show up, Jesus was leaving room for me to show up for myself—to advance in courage and maturity. Sometimes it takes some invisibility to see that He was there all along.
- Think of a time when you felt overwhelmed and couldn’t see God but later realized He was there all along. Thank God for that moment, and consider how you might encourage someone with that story.
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21 Days of Prayer
Jesus, I want to see You today. Help me live this day in a way where I am especially aware of the reality of Your presence. May I slow down my pace and surrender my own agenda so that I can recognize that You’re right here with me. (Luke 24:13–16)