Wednesday, January 11, 2017

What If?

Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?” (Mark 16:2-3)

Many times, as we are walking down the road of life, headed toward what we believe God has called us to, we stop and think, "WHAT IF? What if this is too hard for me? What if I can't do it? What if I'm wrong and this whole plan wasn't God's idea at all?" Like many of us, Mary knew God was calling her to complete a job. Her task was to embalm Jesus' body after His death, but as she was walking to her destination she stopped and asked, "What if we can't roll the stone away from the tomb to take care of Jesus' body?" What if?

Image result for pic of path in the woods

I know that I have been found in this situation more than once. I remember, a few years back, truly believing God wanted me to attend a certain Christian group. In the beginning everything was so wonderful. I felt myself maturing and growing faster than I could even keep up. I had felt for years as if I had been pushed down inside a box, with the lid shut over me. But as soon as I started attending this group, the cover was removed and I began to grow! I was excited and happy all the time. THEN, (there seems to always be a 'then' in my stories), I was devastatingly hurt by someone in the group. I wanted to shrivel back down into my box, or at least run and leave, but the Lord said, "No. You need to stay." I felt crushed. "How can I heal in the very group that has broken my heart?" It seemed absolutely impossible. So, I did the only thing any wife would do - I cried on my husband's shoulder and told him I needed to leave. My husband's response was, "No. I really believe God is asking us to stay." 

"What now? How can I go forward? How can I heal in the very place I was hurt? HOW???" I stood on that path for a long time asking God over and over again, "How?" I feared moving forward. I feared what lay ahead. All I could imagine was more hurt. I kept asking myself, "What if?"

"What if I continue to give my heart and they hurt me again?" I began walking very slowly, but all the time I was frightened... Frightened that I was alone... Frightened that at the end of the road there would be even more disastrous hurt than where I just came from. I took baby steps for over a year as I sought freedom from hurt and fear.

 “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?” 
(Mark 16:3)

I should have known the answer. And I guess I did, but it seemed an impossible task even for God to heal my heart, help me forgive and get back into relationship again. Then it happened for me just as it did for Mary.
4 But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. (Mark 16:4)

God did it! For Mary, she questioned, "Who will roll away the stone?" She probably worried about it. She probably prayed that God would send someone to help her. BUT the important thing was she didn't stop walking - she didn't give up and go home. She didn't say, "Oh brother, forget this! I'm going home. How can He expect me to roll away the stone?" She knew God had asked her to take care of the body of Jesus and so she was not deterred. Then Mary looked up from the road. She looked up from her worries and found that the stone had already been rolled away. God literally took care of it!

With all my worrying and praying (not sure how that works) God had done it. For me, I questioned, "Who will heal my heart? Who will protect my heart from the possibility of it being hurt again?" Then it happened. In the midst of my tears God spoke to my heart. He said, "I will protect your heart. Trust Me."

It was an intense revelation of faith. "Trust Me." I dried my tears. Hope swelled in my heart. I can trust the Living God. I don't need to worry. I can forgive them because God is protecting my heart. The only reason I was holding onto the hurt was for fear that I would forget and not have my guard up. But with surrendering my pain and fear to God, He was now in control and protector of my heart.

If God is asking us to forge ahead then He will be there. He will prepare the way. Not only will He prepare the way, He will go ahead of us down the road and make sure everything is ready for us as we walk in obedience to Him. He will not abandon us even if we question, "God, what if?" God wants a relationship with us. He wants us to see that He will take care of us and protect us if we let Him. "Trust Him," is the lesson I have had to learn many times. There is such a great freedom when we lay down our lives and trust the One and Only God of the universe - Jesus Christ. 

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