Summary: Life is not often as what we plan or expect. When disasters come. When the reality is not as what we want, where can we find strength to live our lives? Jesus is the answer!

The Foundation of True Happiness

Luke 24 : 13 ¡V 35

We would like to plan and control our lives. We strategize our paths trying to be as good as possible. The first season of life we were carefree and innocent. As we reach adulthood and begin to assume life-responsibility ¡V working hard to raise a family and building a firm foundation for our future. But, the reality tells us that for many people life is not always going that way.

The day after Christmas 2004, while the world was still in euphoria, Aceh and many parts of Asia were shattered by earthquake and the tsunami. Before we fully recovered from the shock, the night after another big Christian event, Easter, again we were shaken by the earthquake in Nias. Why did all these happen?

Looking at the contrast between Jesus¡¦ ministry in Galilee and His tragic life on the cross, Jesus¡¦ disciples were also asking the same question? ¡§Why did all these happen? ¡§Isn¡¦t He supposed to release us from the Roman tyrant? Isn¡¦t He supposed to lead us into a better future? Isn¡¦t He supposed to restore our identity as the Chosen People? But, see what has happened? He died. Jesus, the strongest and the wisest man has died. What hope do we have now? What is freedom? What is victory?¡¨ The disciples were disappointed. They were disillusioned. They were frightened and confused. And what happened next?

It had been three days. But nothing changed. The testimony of the women who came back from the tomb only made them become even more confused. They decided to go home, return to their families and to their old lives. But, Jesus didn¡¦t leave them alone in their fear and confusion. He walked with them on their way home to Emmaus. He didn¡¦t have to, but He showed them that He is the Emmanuel who is always present in every step of our lives, even in the most unexpected places and the most unlikely time like the quite and stony path on the road to Emmaus.

The open fellowship on the road to Emmaus has made room for Jesus to join the two disciples. We can tell it was a warm fellowship. They had an opportunity to upload the burden of their hearts, free to express their fears, confusion and grief. They talked about Jesus and as a result their memory about Him was strengthened. They felt closer to Jesus and to one another. Naturally they found mutual encouragement. And when Jesus came to join them, they also told Him their worries and concerns. They let Him play a central role and they listened to Him.

Jesus also listened to the disciples and talked with them. He also taught them about the Scripture. This shows that His resurrection is real! And with His resurrection He affirms the Faith, Hope, and Love that we found in Him. With His faith, He has embraced the suffering of the world. In the Gethsemane, He could have chosen not to drink the wine. But He decided to take it on behalf of us, to drink the cup of our suffering. In hope, He showed us there will be light at the end of the tunnel. His resurrection proved to us that in Him there will be victory for everyone who continues to put their trust in Him despite life circumstances. Love reminds us that we are not alone but He is always present in our lives and walks with us through all our ups and downs. He wants to lift us up from our despairs, to share our pains, our doubts, our fears, and our confusions.

The question is where have we laid the foundation of our lives? Do we build our lives upon Jesus, the rock of the true happiness of life? Are we aware of His presence in our lives? Do we invite Him to walk with us? Do we share our doubts, our fears and our confusion with Him? Do we let Him play a central role in our lives? He wants to walk with us and to empower us as we are facing all the challenges of life. (Ev. The Paw Liang, WMC Jakarta 3 April 2005)

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