Have you ever been frantically looking for something, when later you realize that it was right under your nose? It happens to the very best of us (ok, some more than others). Maybe it’s our keys, maybe it’s a screw for something we are assembling, or worse…maybe it’s the sunglasses sitting on top of our head!
Other times, we overlook the good things going on in our lives because of one bad thing, or a series of bad things. For me, I venture to say that describes the better part of my last couple of weeks. And it wasn’t until this morning that I realized what I was doing. Each morning I wake up, journal some thoughts about life, read a section of scripture, and then journal about that text before getting my day in gear. It has been very helpful on so many levels. Well, for the better part of 3 months I have been slowly reading through the Gospel of John and God has opened my eyes to so much. This morning was no different. While reading from John 20:11-18, I read this:
“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.” John 20:15
Jesus had died on the cross and was buried in a tomb. A few days pass and his friend Mary Magdalene goes to visit his tomb. But to her dismay, the stone used to close up the tomb is rolled away exposing the interior and inside she finds nothing but a few garments. Understandably her emotions turned from grief to all out panic. Who took his body? Where did they take it? How will she get it back? These are all the same type of questions (maybe not the body one) that we ask ourselves when we are looking for something and can’t find it. And like Mary, we panic and lose clarity of sight and mind.
When I read the passage this morning, I got the context but it didn’t hit me until afterwards when I read John Calvin’s commentary. He said this about verse 15; “We see that Mary has no view of this matter but what is earthly. She desires only to obtain the dead body of Christ, that she may keep it hidden in the sepulchre; but she leaves out the most important matter, the elevation of her mind to the divine power of his resurrection. We need not wonder, therefore, if such grovelling views place a veil before her eyes.”
Whoa! Did her grovelling veil her eyes? Does my grovelling veil my eyes? What have I been missing these last couple of weeks? And maybe my whole Christian life?
This season of life has been tough. Finances have been hard, business has been a roller coaster, some relationships have been tested, possessions have been lost, and a piece of me has gone missing. I know I am not the only one. What has been burdening your life? What is it that is causing you to go mad and potentially veil your own eyes from the blessing right in front of you?
Hebrews 12 says that “For the joy set before him (Jesus), he endured the cross…” Maybe our trials themselves are the blessing if we just look at them from the right perspective.
James 1:12 says “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.” Maybe the blessing is coming at the end of the trial.
Like Mary Magdalene in John 20:15, maybe the blessing is right in front of us regardless of the (apparent) trial.
Am I missing out on something so amazing that God has placed right before me because I’m too busy whining about the things I don’t like? Are you missing out on something so special because the struggle seems like to much to bear? For some, it could be as simple and shifting your eyes from one thing to another. For others, it could be completely changing your life’s perspective. I am not completely sure but I encourage you to take a look.
There is one thing I am sure of and it is this; Jesus is the answer. If you don’t have your life rooted in Jesus Christ, that must happen before anything else can make sense. If you are a follower of Christ, fix your eyes on him, our author and our perfecter, and accept the blessings he has waiting for you.
Mary would eventually realize that it was Jesus talking to her and she would find great joy in her discovery. My prayer is you would do the same.