“On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. Again Jesus said, ‘Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.’” John 20:19-21
The disciples were standing in a crowded room most likely exhausted and certainly terrified for their lives. Three years earlier, they had been yanked from their careers, their families, the only life they knew, with an invitation to turn history upside down. They faced extreme highs and extreme lows as they followed the man they called “the Christ”. They had “no place to lay their head”. And now their Master, their beloved “Savior”, their closest companion had died a brutal death. It must have felt that all of their dreams, their calling, and their momentum toward the purposeful life they had just began to hope for died along with Jesus.
It must have felt like they lost out on the life they were dreaming of. Why did Jesus stir their hopes only to come to this bitter end? It must have felt like the last three years were just a waste. It must have felt like their whole life was “floating” and completely out of their grasp. But they didn’t have the full story. They didn’t know resurrection was coming.
They must have believed there was no hope for them. And now, they’re locked in a room out of fear that they too would be killed. Then Jesus suddenly and miraculously appears in their midst speaking peace, reaffirming the calling, and breathing His presence on them for the journey ahead. The disciples must have questioned their sanity to have seen the crucified Messiah in their midst; they must have kept rubbing their eye lids and glancing at the other guys in the room with a “do you see what I’m seeing” sort of look on their face.
This moment changes EVERYTHING for the disciples. With the very breathe of God upon their bruised hearts they begin again. With their Savior’s affirming and commissioning words, the destiny that has always been written upon their hearts starts here, in a crowded and once cowardly room.
This moment is link between who they were and who they were about to be. It is the collision of the life before Jesus, the last three years of tiresome ministry, and their soon to be world-changing futures. The Spirit was pulling together every moment of their lives to launch these men and women into their God given purpose and design.
What if every moment in your life up to this point is just an echo, a foreshadow, of God’s ultimate purpose for your life?
What if all the changing and rearranging in your life is for a purpose and someday it will all collide to form grand beauty and epic purpose beyond anything you could ever fathom?
Like a diamond in the fire, God works all things together for our good. Don’t think for a second that God’s greatest instruments aren’t forged without the flames of exhaustion, doubt, fear, uprooting, pruning, failure, disappointment, and grief.
Though you may be walled in by constant reminders that things haven’t turned out like you had hoped, take heart. That’s the kind of room Jesus tends to show up in.
The breath of God can invade this season, and even kick up the dust of past seasons rearranging everything toward the purpose you have been made for, the one you have been waiting for.
The moment is coming for you, friend.
You're just standing in the echo.
Jen is a pastor, worship leader, writer, and songwriter living in Napa, California.