Facing the Emptiness
"And he who was seated on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.” Revelation 21:5a (ESV)
I have baby onesies with no pudgy legs to fill them, and a space where I hung dresses for a job I didn’t get.
Having empty space in our lives, doesn’t mean we’re called to endure emptiness. Once, a woman wept outside an empty tomb and was met by the hope of the world.
Remember Mary, the shamed woman whose heart was seen by Jesus? In him, she was most likely cherished for the first time. Soon after, she witnessed the desire of her heart mocked, beaten, and nailed to a cross.
Mary’s new identity was mercilessly pinned to a piece of wood.
All her hope was in Jesus. And now it hung lifeless for the whole world to see.
Our desires may be holy and epic!
For me, wanting to adopt is that one desire I feel I’ve been watching die a gruesome death. It’s out of my hands. All I can do is stand aside and feel the fool for believing. Have you ever felt this way? That God entrusted you with a longing, but it seems a no-go?
I’m guessing Mary may have felt this way. She proclaimed the hope of the world had come, and the next day they rolled a stone—sealing his grave.
Still, she knelt outside the tomb, where her unmet expectations lay buried and dead.
Dying to self is a true death. And it’s ok to treat it that way. As long as we don’t forget: we worship a God of resurrection!
Mary went to Jesus’ tomb, terrified and confused to find it hollow. She pleaded with the angels, asking where they’d taken him. (John 20:11-18). It’s not that she wanted Jesus to be dead, but it’s what she expected.
Sometimes, we focus on the hollowness of a situation and miss the hallelujah!
We’re so much like Mary. If we’ve watched a desire of our heart be abused and buried, we visit the grave expecting it to stay that way forever.
We forget what hope looks like. When this happens, we can miss it staring us in the face.
Hope looks like Jesus.
Hope is Jesus.
Mary didn’t even recognize Him when he appeared to her outside the tomb. She mistook him for the gardener (John 20:15). She was seized by the fact things didn’t remain irredeemable. The world was whispering, ‘What’s the point? What you hoped for is still dead.’
But the world lies. There’s always a resurrection. Whatever’s lifeless, looks different after revival.
Jesus looked different. He was glorified. (Philippians 2:20-21) I think it’s why Mary didn’t recognize Him right away.
It’s the same with the desires of our hearts. It’s not that they aren’t lovely, but God has something planned to take our breath away! Something we haven’t considered. Something impossible.
This. Is. Faith. Standing outside a graveyard and believing resurrection will come.
We’re completing our Foster Certification. Something—mind you—we said we’d Never do. God, through the past five years of loss and frustration, has been tirelessly crafting our powdered dreams into something completely different than what we expected to see. The idea of becoming Foster Parents was our equivalent of Mary mistaking Jesus for the gardener. We initially flipped out, “Where have you taken our dead dream?” I just wanted to remain face down, ugly-crying like Mary.
Sometimes, it’s easier to sit in disappointment then to step into the unknown. This is a big unknown for us. But I know the sweet face of hope. I refuse to mistake Him.
We’re approaching a desolate space and expecting the impossible to happen.
We’re expecting God to resurrect all that was lost.
We’re expecting desires to look different.
Standing right in front of us, could be the glorified, holy, resurrected will for our lives.
by Jenna Masters