You know that moment when you read something for the umpteenth time and it feels like the first? That happened to me reading the first three verses of Mark 16. Here they are:
When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. 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?”
Even though I’d read this multiple times, something jumped out at me clear as day. That something was the order of events.
It wasn’t the first thing on these three ladies’ minds to ask themselves about the stone in the way. No, they bought the spices, set their alarms (although I have a sense they didn’t really need to), and were already headed to the tomb to tend to Jesus’ body before they really pondered exactly how they were going to get in.
I found that very telling. Many times we let the impossible keep us from preparing for it. These ladies didn’t worry about that. Why?
I believe it was because they were so focused on serving Jesus. Literally. The stone in the way didn’t deter them from buying the spices. They could have said, “Uh, what’s the point of spending money on something that I might not be able to use. I’ll just pray about it and hope that stone gets out of the way somehow.”
Instead they bought them, got up early, and headed for the tomb. It seems they had so much faith they were going to get to tend to Jesus that their attitude was, “Somehow, we don’t know how, but somehow that stone will not keep us from getting to him.”
I have a sneaky feeling their question wasn’t one of doubt but one of wonderment. Just how was God going to help them.
It seems that God often does his best work when we let him deal with the impossible while we deal with the possible. They did everything they could to be ready to serve. What did God do? He made sure the obstacle in their way was removed.
The Lesson: Act despite the stone. Avoid letting the impossible paralyze you from living an active life of faith. These ladies would have seriously kicked themselves had they let the question come first.
What they would have missed. I’m thankful for their example of not letting the question of the impossible stifle their actions of faith.
Photo by Katherine Hanlon on Unsplash