Lingering in Uncertainty

Garden bench in winterDeposit Photos

 Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” So Peter went out with the other disciple, and they were going toward the tomb. Both of them were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. And stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there, and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that he must rise from the dead.

Then the disciples went back to their homes.

But Mary stood outside facing the tomb, crying. As she was crying, she stooped to look into the tomb. 

“And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.”Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus.  Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary.”She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher).”  John 20: 1-16

I made an observation after reading these devotional verses this morning.

I compared the varying reactions of Peter and the unnamed disciple versus Mary Magdalene.  All three of them had just witnessed a baffling sight, an empty tomb.  I know they were all distraught. I know it confused all of them, but it’s interesting to me the different reactions to the confusing scene.

What the disciples do next reminded me of what so many of us do after witnessing something we don’t understand and can’t explain.

“Then the disciples went back to their homes.”

Isn’t that just like us.  So often when we come across something we don’t understand we just keep doing what we’ve always done. The disciples went home.

But, contrast their reaction with Mary’s reaction:

But Mary stood outside facing the tomb, crying. As she was crying, she stooped to look into the tomb. 

I’m not sure if that’s meant to be significant or not, the fact that Mary stayed behind an lingered for a while. But it meant something to me.  Mary had just witnessed something confusing and out-of-place. Yet, instead of going immediately back to the comfort of “familiar” she chose to linger in that uncomfortable and confusing moment.  And, in the midst of her confusion and pain, Jesus appears.  

These verses reminded me today how Jesus will often appear to us even today the very same way.  When we take time linger in our questions, when we choose to slow down, when we take time to look for answers, He shows up in the midst of it all and offers us hope.

Today, take time to linger in your uncertainties,  You just might come face to face with beauty.

The path of right-living people is level.
The Leveler evens the road for the right-living.
We’re in no hurry, God. We’re content to linger
in the path sign-posted with your decisions.
Who you are and what you’ve done
are all we’ll ever want.  (Isaiah 26:7-8 Message)

4 thoughts on “Lingering in Uncertainty

  1. laura s

    I have found, in the uncertainty that comes in this life on earth, that I almost always go to worship now. In my hardest of moments, I find my peace, comfort and security in just singing about my faith in our Heavenly Father, Eileen. And when our family was initially faced with Richard’s diagnosis last February and then, throughout his battle, we found strength and affirmation of God’s unending love for us in our faith family. Years ago, I would “just go home” to my own, personal house when confronted with life’s hardships. Now, after fully accepting Christ into my hear, I can say I still “go home” but that home has become the church instead. Not the building but the body of believers who walk alongside me. I continuously hope to be part of THAT CHURCH to others for the rest of my life. Keep writing, my friend, I am grateful YOU are a part of MY church. <3

    1. Eileen Post author

      What a beautiful comment and faith-filled perspective, Laura. You are most certainly a light and being the church to others!

  2. Pingback: But Mary Faced the Tomb | The Scenic Route

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