“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.” John 20:1
“It was still dark!” Like Mary Magdalene, many live life in the dark. Darkness heightens fear and frustration. Darkness hides the future. Darkness deepens depression. Darkness retards hope.
Mary Magdalene had unfinished business she hoped to finish when the darkness was dispelled. Days earlier, she had been one of many who hastily placed Jesus’ body in the tomb. She has waited until Sabbath passed and now is ready to resume her expressions of faithfulness to the Lord.
Many times, prior she had responded out of joy. Now her response is one out of despair. The service was there but the heart felt broken forever. In the dark, she dreaded what she must do.
Even people closest to Jesus experience darkness. Sometimes it is physical with the need of a new day. Sometimes it is social with the opposition of those who don’t agree with our dedication to the Lord. Sometimes it is spiritual with the accuser attacking us to destroy our witness and kill our joy. Life cycles between darkness and light.
In the dark, many senses startle us. In the dark it seemed the tomb was open. That is not right! It is supposed to be sealed. In the dark the tomb seemed empty. That is not right! The body was there when she left. In the dark, Mary Magdalene felt the loss of any final touch with the Master. That is not right! In the dark she must find what happened.
But God has a way of shedding light on our darkness. Seeking out other disciples helped her comprehend much of which she has overlooked. Grave clothes remain. Everything is orderly. Instead of looking like vandalism, it looks planned.
Scripture will help make sense of things in time. It has a way of shedding light on the plans of God we don’t comprehend at this time.
Yet the best illumination of what truly is happening is when she hears from the Lord, himself. When she knows she has heard from God is when her sadness transforms into celebration.
When darkness shrouds your way, believe that God continues to have something else prepared you are yet to see. Recall the faithfulness of the Lord you already have known. Trust Him. He never forsakes. Look for the positive. Darkness makes it look gloomy, but light always overcomes the dark. So, the Light of the World overcomes our darkness.
Through your despair listen for God. He is calling for you to rise above your circumstances and is there to show you light at the end of the dark way. Stay faithful and your joy will return. He is alive!
Bro. John A. Temple is pastor of Poplar Springs Drive Baptist Church, 4032 Poplar Springs Drive, Meridian. Visit the church website at www.psdbc.org. From the Shepherd's Heart is published Fridays in The Meridian Star.