I can’t imagine what it was like for Mary and Mary Magdalene to roll up on Jesus’ empty grave. The huge tombstone rolled back; the angel of the Lord just sitting there waiting for them.
Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; He has risen, just as He said. Come and see the place where He lay.” (Matthew 28:5-6, NIV).
I know what you’re thinking because I’m thinking the same thing.
“What the? Did I hear God wrong? I think He said something even remotely close to what this angel just told me, but I’m so confused?”
Sometimes I have to hear things a few times before I understand the meaning behind it.
For instance, my husband and I are working vigorously to restore our new backyard that the previous owner left it in complete disarray. We bought a pickaxe from Lowe’s, and I broke it on my first try.
My husband told me, “Don’t do that” twice — and yet I didn’t stop to understand what he really meant.
I kept attacking the roots, thinking they will just break with my weight; I’ll force them out! Nope. I broke the head clean off the handle just like that. Snap. We made multiple trips to Lowe’s that day.
But that’s not what I’ve really been struggling with lately.
The pickaxe incident is just the beginning of my inability to stop and listen. To understand what the Lord might be trying to teach me. Like the disciples, I know God has shared a similar message with me multiple times without a real understanding.
Recently, I’ve felt like I need to take some time off from writing and speaking. With my second book recently published, I feel like this is the worst possible timing ever. I don’t want to let my publisher down. I don’t want to let others down. I want to share my story because God so radically changed my life while writing it.
But, when I read about Jesus’ disciples, I don’t feel so bad.
He told them His future plans many times. As many times as He told them, they still didn’t understand.
Mark 9:31-32 says:
They left that place and passed through Galilee. Jesus did not want anyone to know where they were, because he was teaching His disciples. He said to them, ‘The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men. They will kill Him, and after three days He will rise.’ But they did not understand what He meant and were afraid to ask him about it.”
I recently encountered God. Things finally clicked for me like they did for the two Mary’s. I went to church not expecting to hear from God, because He’s been quite distant lately. Maybe it’s because we haven’t found the right church for us as a married couple. Or maybe it’s because God has been sharing with me something for the past few months, but I just haven’t understood. Then, like Mary and Mary, I saw.
I don’t know about you, but I need the resurrection.
I need the reminder of the empty tomb.
Jesus did actually die and come back to life.
Suddenly I see what God has been trying to tell me all along. He is not here; He is risen. When I stop to listen — I understand. I’m not supposed to stop all ministry altogether — just traveling, speaking, and writing my fourth book. I’m supposed to be Marc’s wife.
Be a wife.
Suddenly, I remember all those prayers I prayed for over a decade, begging God to just be a wife. His timing wasn’t my timing, and now that it’s here — more than ever, it’s important for me to be obedient.
I am learning how to serve my husband and say no to other things. In a world that moves so fast, my speed demon nature needs the reminder of the cross in this season.
Before I go and condemn myself for just-now understanding, I take comfort that I’m a lot like Jesus’ disciples. He knew their hearts, yet He still took the time to single them out and teach them. Easter is such a great reminder of this.
I am freed from my sins. I no longer have to feel afraid when I don’t understand right away.
In Him and through faith we may approach God with freedom and confidence.Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Ephesians 3:12, Hebrews 4:16)
My prayer in this Easter season is that the cross would draw me closer to Jesus. That I would be willing to sit, wait, and understand where Jesus is and where He is not — so that when the time is right I can go and do everything He has already told me to do.