“Were not our hearts burning within us while he spoke with us on the way and opened the Scriptures to us?” (Luke 24:32)
These were the words of two disciples after encountering Jesus on the day of his resurrection. They were walking from Jerusalem to Emmaus, discussing the events of Jesus’ death and the surprising reports that he had been seen alive. Jesus comes up alongside of them, though they do not recognize him, and enters into their conversation. Jesus then begins to explain what Moses and the prophets wrote about him. He observes how slow of heart they have been to believe all that was written.
They subsequently recognize Jesus when he breaks bread with them at supper, as he then disappears from their sight. They make the above statement as they return to Jerusalem to report that they too, had seen Jesus.
Has your heart ever burned within you by something someone has said, a scripture that leaps off the page, an extraordinary act of love from another person, or the gentle whisper of the Holy Spirit?
Many years ago after the burial of my father, I was riding out of the cemetery with my mother and brother back to town, and I started to have this overwhelming sense of joy. It was in the middle of January, on an overcast, cold day. The snow drifts along the road were covered with soot from the windswept plowed fields of northern Iowa. It was a bleak dreary scene.
Yet, here I was, inexplicably experiencing this heightened sense of joy. I said to my mother and brother, “I know this sounds odd, but I have a great feeling of joy.” They both looked at me as if I was crazy, but said nothing, not understanding how I could possibly feel joyful. The next morning while I was praying in my father’s bedroom, the following words came into my mind,“The reason for your joy yesterday was because your father is with me in heaven.”
My heart burned within me as I heard those words and recalled the joy from the prior afternoon. It was the Lord, and I wanted to hold onto every word I heard. I shared it with my mother who cried with joy as well.
Has your heart ever burned within you from something you have heard or experienced?