Maybe nothing is more important than that we keep track, you and I, of these stories of who we are and where we have come from and the people we have met along the way because it is precisely through these stories, in all their peculiarity, as I have long believed and often said, that God makes himself known to each of us most powerfully and personally.” -Frederick Buechner
I am very slowly reading through the gospels. Slowly because I don’t want to rush, but also because I get distracted. I am a rabbit chaser when it comes to reading. Anyway, even though I started months ago this is where I landed today in the book of Mark:
“16 When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. 2 And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. 3 And they were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?” 4 And looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled back—it was very large. 5 And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were alarmed. 6 And he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him. 7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.” 8 And they went out and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had seized them, and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.” (ESV)
It struck me as I read this passage that I had a similar experience this week. No I didn’t head to the tomb of a deceased friend but I did have a situation where I thought a big stone thing was going to cause a problem.
Let’s be real, this Covid-19 virus is a big, no HUGE stone blocker in our lives right now. It is playing out in each of our lives in different ways. On most fronts I’ve been just fine and that is a truthful statement. However, we all have moments, or days when some “big stone” thought can get in our way.
I was struck when I read Mark 16 that these ladies knew there was a big stone blocking the entrance to the tomb but they gathered all the necessary supplies to care for Jesus’ body and headed out anyway. Not only did they go, they went “very early”. They did not let the fact that there was a big stone at the entrance even slow them down! It doesn’t tell us that they called the neighbor man to see if he could go with and help. It just says “very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen they went to the tomb.”
You see this week I had a “I see a big rock in the way” day. I miss my kids and grandkids as do many people do. I know I am not alone in this. Overall I have been doing fine with it as our kids are good to us. They call, text and FaceTime etc. on a regular basis. But earlier this week I began to wonder when we would actually get to be with them and give them a few hugs. We are expecting a new grandson in June and I wondered how long we would have to wait to hold him. You see where this is going…. I stewed in these thoughts for a couple of days. I mentioned them to my husband. He kindly sympathized with me. I even started not one but a couple of emails to ask them. Then I read my emails to myself, how silly. No one could answer the questions I had. There are just too many unknowns in regard to Covid-19 at this time. No one can predict the future in the best of times let alone now. So at that point with a deep sigh I prayed. “Okay God. I hear you. I cannot change this situation. I cannot predict the future and neither can our kids. But, You love me and my family. You know what is going on and You will take care of us, all of us. That includes me.” I deleted the emails and moved on in my day, my brain no longer stuck in repeating thoughts.
When those ladies acknowledged out loud the truth that there would be a large stone blocking their efforts to care for Jesus body as they approached the tomb they “looked up” and saw that the stone had been moved. The tomb was open. They could walk right in.
That evening while unwinding by watching TV with my husband I received a text from our son. “Could they stop over tomorrow after their son’s nap?” Without my email, without my asking them they were asking if they could come over. God had a plan to care for me. It says in Luke 12 that He (God) “delights to give me the Kingdom.” The Kingdom is Him, God. And “God is love”. (I John) God loves me and knows what I need. I do not have to orchestrate it. My “job” is to trust Him.
What “big stone” do you need to surrender to God today?