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One of the most amazing stories after Jesus' resurrection is the encounter on the road to Emmaus. As Luke recounts the story, two of the followers of Jesus are walking along recalling all the things that have happened over the last several days. As they walk they are met by Jesus and he walks along with them, but they do not recognize Him.

We are left to wonder why it is these two followers do not recognize the One they had hoped would redeem Israel? How could they not notice who He was? Was He changed in some way? Maybe it was already late in the day and the light was not good enough to distinguish his physical features. Maybe their minds were too preoccupied with the trauma of the last few days? It is difficult to say exactly what occurred, but one thing is certain - they found themselves in a deep state of grief, confusion and doubt at the death of the One they thought would rise up to save Israel. Most assuredly their grief weighed heavily on what they perceived around them.

Grief is like that. Grief, from any experience of loss in life -- loss of a job, loss of a marriage, being passed over for a promotion, the move to a new town leaving dear friends behind, dashed hopes and dreams, the death of a loved one, - tends to cloud our vision and distort our focus on life. These are all situations or events in life that make it difficult to see and understand where God is in our lives. Just as the two followers on the road to Emmaus struggled to make sense of what was going on around them in the midst of their grief and despair, so we struggle with the pain and agony of the tragedies of our lives. These feelings of confusion, disorientation, sadness, sorrow and despair are all very normal when one is faced with tragedy in life.

The good news is that God knows and cares about our feelings and our concerns. Just as Jesus came into the lives of the two men on the road to Emmaus, God longs to come into our lives if we let him. In the road to Emmaus story, Jesus was going to continue on down the road until they invited Him to stay the night with them.

If life has dealt you a difficult blow and you are struggling right now to make sense of things, why not invite a Stephen Minister to walk the difficult road of grief with you. For where two or three are gathered in his name there God will be also. The compassionate ear of a Stephen Minister listens in total confidentiality as you make the journey together. As you travel, God has promised to walk with you just as he walked the road to Emmaus. Invite Him in and He will bring healing and wholeness through the care and concern of a Stephen Minister.