The Radiating Effects of Suffering and How Love is There.
"Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot. They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?” “They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus. He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.” Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”)." John 20v11-17
Suffering is experienced in countless ways and to varying degrees. In this story, Mary's situation radiated from an external reality into the deepest parts of who she was, leading her to a place of suffering as she no longer had control of what she held to most. But Love was still there. Love is always there. Always with us.
Four things to see
1. Mary was crying. She embraced her suffering. And because of this, she stayed where she was (not running away from it) and experienced God through "two angles" that she may have otherwise missed. (v11)
2. Mary convinced herself Jesus had left. He hadn't. (v13-14)
3. Mary unknowingly (at first) interacted with Jesus in an everyday moment... through talking to "a gardener." (v15)
4. Mary only needed to hear Jesus say her name for everything in her to believe again. (v16)
1. In moments of suffering (no matter how "big" or "small") what am I fearing that makes me want to leave that place so quickly? What if that's the very place, of allowing my suffering to be reality, that God wants to reveal His kindness to me?
2. Everything is spiritual. And God can speak through all things, especially the normal everyday "common things." Am I open to God talking with me how and when God wants, even in my moments of deep hurt?
Rhythm of Practicing Peace
Think about the most difficult situation happening in your life today. It may be within a relationship, maybe finances or sickness, possibly even self-hate for patterns of sin you continue in.
Allow yourself to sit in the suffering for a moment. Let it affect you...
Talk with Holy Spirt, tell Him how much you need Him.
Picture Jesus walking over to you and placing His hands of approval on your shoulders (Psalm 139).
Father, thank you for calling me Your Beloved. You see this mess. You feel my pain. And I need you to be my closest friend, to tell me again what You think about me. Here I am, Your daughter / son is listening.