Monday, June 4, 2012

Why Are You Crying?

It seems I've been quiet on here for quite a while. I wish I had a good excuse. A few things haven't gone my way lately. Some of it's heavy - my dog died - and some of it's petty - the grocery store is out of the coffee I wanted. (Ever notice how good we get at counting the petty stuff when something big has gone wrong?) I confess, I've been in a bit of a funk.

This is something that God is working on in me; I think he's determined to funk-proof me. I have good news. I think he's been determined to do this to all of his followers all along, and I think he's determined to do the same to you, too.

To pick up a story mid-stride, come with me as the disciples look in the empty tomb of Jesus. Mary already told them it would be empty, but... John 20:8-9 says, "Then the disciple who had reached the tomb first also went in, and he saw and believed - for until then, they still hadn't understood the Scriptures that said Jesus must rise from the dead." Hm. Okay. So they understand that Jesus has risen from the dead. He told them this would happen.

Yet, verse 14 shows Mary about to leave the tomb, still crying. Her explanation? Check out verse 13. "Because they have taken away my Lord [...] and I don't know where they have put him." Seems to me that Mary is being a bit dramatic. She's choosing not to believe what Jesus told her would happen, what the disciples have finally understood.

By the way, in verse 13, Mary is speaking to angels. In her worked up state, she was missing one miracle after the next.

So, on to verse 15. Enter Jesus (whom she also didn't recognize). His first question to her? "Dear woman, why are you crying?" And then, of course, the big reveal: Jesus is alive and present!

Lately, Jesus has had to ask that same question of me. Emily, why are you crying? I told you this would happen, and I told you I have already won these battles you're so worried about. The reminders are gentle but true - and not just in my life. I think he's saying the same to you, too.

John 16: 33 promises us that we'll have trouble but that we can take heart because Jesus has "overcome the world." So, like the disciples, who had heard that Jesus would be killed and would come back to life, we need to remember what we've been told when the going gets rough or, like Mary, we could end up stumbling over one miracle after the next, blind to the work of God and even to the face of Jesus.  Easier said than done. Thankfully, Philippians 4, which tells us to "Always be full of joy in the Lord" also provides instructions for how to do just that.

Ah, but I won't make it that easy for you. Go check it out. Philippians 4:6-9.

May you find joy and peace.

Your Sister

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