“Mary was standing outside the tomb crying, and as she wept, she stooped and looked in. She saw two white-robed angels sitting at the head and foot of the place where the body of Jesus had been lying. "Why are you crying?" the angels asked her. "Because they have taken away my Lord," she replied, "and I don't know where they have put him." John 20:11-13
Mary outside the tomb crying, overcome with grief, things not turning out like she had hoped. No doubt, in this moment, she probably felt life was turning out quite the opposite. Would the dream of living life with Jesus once again be replaced by the old nightmare of abuse and demonic torture? Would all of this just end like this?
Life for many comes to points just like this-heartache that leads to despair. Some even live with a continual sense of grief. Relationships have been painful, financial pressures overwhelming; they look into the past with regret and look into the future with anxiety. If only things could turn out differently. If only I had made different choices. Where is God?
We must remember that for Mary the story doesn’t end there.
“She glanced over her shoulder and saw someone standing behind her. It was Jesus, but she didn't recognize him. "Why are you crying?" Jesus asked her. "Who are you looking for?" She thought he was the gardener. "Sir," she said, "if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and get him." "Mary!" Jesus said. She turned toward him and exclaimed, "Teacher"! "Don't cling to me," Jesus said, "for I haven't yet ascended to the Father. But go find my brothers and tell them that I am ascending to my Father and your Father, my God and your God." John 20:14-17
How many times do we just glance and not recognize the truth-the truth that our grief can be turned to joy. Did you know that the resurrection of Jesus means that life can turn out differently. The resurrection means that we are never without hope. We are never without promise of a future.
“His anger lasts for a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime! Weeping may go on all night, but joy comes with the morning.” Ps. 30:5
I have come to these places of discouragement many times. They are a fact of life. What I have learned is that Jesus has overcome this world and its sorrow and pain. Each time Jesus has shown Himself to be who He said He was. Each time He has delivered on His promises. In a time of discouragement he once said to His disciples:
“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
I don’t know where you are right now but I do know that if you are trusting in Jesus the story does not end here. Take a look around with eyes of faith. Look for Jesus. Pray and ask Him to show Himself to you. No one who hopes in the Lord will be disappointed! It does not have to end like this! Look for your blessed Hope!
“You will grieve, but your grief will suddenly turn to wonderful joy when you see me again.” John 16:29