Whether we travel by ourselves, or with others, the Lord arranges incredible opportunities for us. We can be in the midst of bustling crowds, or traveling to different countries where the customs of the land are unfamiliar can make us uncomfortable. Sharing what we have or consoling those in grief can build bonds that survive decades.
But when we consider the road we are traveling on through this life, we are guided to encounter others for important reasons. When I traveled to Jamaica one time, a native citizen came to my rescue when unscrupulous merchants tried to extort additional money from me because of my unfamiliarity with some obscure “local” ordinances. I appreciated his intervention and we shared a meal together.
I recall a couple of stories long ago, where lives were changed on the road due to a stranger. As we look at these, how can we learn lessons from them?
On the road to Emmaus
As it usually happens, traveling along a road taking time and distance, an important spiritual event occurred. Luke 24 tells of a couple of guys who were emotionally and spiritually shaken along a seven-mile stretch of road. The Greek word “sad” literally means “face twisted with grief”, and both men obviously needed comfort. Jesus walked up and traveled with them, asking questions. They liked the Lord’s companionship, and He didn’t reveal Himself until after they ate and shared deep, spiritual truths. After He left, they asked themselves, “…didn’t our hearts burn within us, while He talked with us by the way…?” When we talk about our Lord with those around us, their hearts WILL burn within them, because the Lord sees that “…His Word shall not return to Him void, but it shall accomplish that which I please…” (Isaiah 55:11).
On the road to Jericho
A man traveling, taking time and distance, fell among thieves who beat him and robbed him. A Samaritan man ON THE SAME ROAD came by after both a religious leader and a lawyer had ignored him. This man, despised by Jewish citizens, was moved with compassion. He not only stopped and ministered to him ON the road, but took him down the road WITH him. The Samaritan went out of his way a “second mile”. He housed the robbed and beaten man in a local building, where he instructed the owner to CONTINUE to minister to him in his stead. Why? His tender heart was so touched that he spent resources on this stranger that the other more prosperous men could have easily afforded. (Luke 10:30-37)
When we withhold time and resources, that we are essentially hoarding for our own consumption, are we not disregarding Jesus’ instruction, “Goand Dolikewise”?
On my road this month, Lord, show me where I need to “go” and what I need to “do”. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
– Lee Kresser