For the World Weary Spirit in All of Us

Did you sleep well last night?

These days I’m too hot, too cold, gotta go to the bathroom, gotta get a drink of water, gotta go to the bathroom again, to sleep well. But the truth is I’ve never really been a fall-asleep-when-my-head-hits-the-pillow-and-not-wake-up-till-morning kind of girl.

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But there have been many times in my life when not only did I not sleep well, I was too troubled to sleep at all. Things were happening around me and to me that caused me to lay wide awake, tossing and turning, until finally I’d just give up on sleep and get out of bed. I’d often do a load of laundry, eat, turn on the TV, clean up the kitchen, eat, read, or eat. Anything I could do {quietly} to ease my mind without waking those in blissful slumber.

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I read something recently that speaks to those restless, sleepless early morning hours. I wonder if it might speak to you too?

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. John 20:1.

Early…

Early is an adjective defined as happening or done before the usual or expected time. I suspect Mary was not much different from the rest of us. She woke up early, still troubled by the events on Friday, a Saturday without Jesus, and the tasks of the day ahead. Maybe she hadn’t slept at all that night. But early—before the usual or expected time, she started her day.

Early on the first day of the week…

It was Sunday but it was her Monday—the day after the Sabbath. No doubt she had her week’s list of things to do and places to go. Life around her did not stop—would not stop—in the wake of a Passover week and a cruel cross and her Savior dying.

Early on the first day of the week while it was still dark…

Most likely it was sometime between the hours of 3:00 and 6:00 AM as she slipped quietly out the door. I can see her as she walked carefully through the quiet, empty streets. The dark, early morning heavy kind of hopelessness and helplessness weighing down on her. She had questions without answers and a pounding heart marking time until the light of day.

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene…

She was one of six different Mary’s mentioned in the New Testament. This is the seven-demon Mary mentioned in Luke. The reference to seven demons most likely signifies the severe suffering she experienced when afflicted by their presence. She was perhaps wild-eyed and disheveled and loud or maybe sullen and withdrawn when possessed and oppressed. But when Jesus saw her he only saw the person she could be and would be once she was set free by His healing touch. And set free she was. No one superseded Mary Magdalene in her utter devotion to the Savior-Healer. She was one of the last followers at the cross and at his burial.

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb…

She was the first at the tomb. She went because she couldn’t live a day without being with Jesus. And this was the last place she saw him—she had watched as Joseph of Arimathea had prepared his body and placed it in the tomb on Friday evening.
She had started out early, in the dark that Sunday morning; but, by the time she reached the tomb the sun had risen.

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and she saw…

She saw that the Son had risen. She saw the empty tomb. She saw the Savior-Healer. What a great honor to be the first to witness the most important event in world history and the pivotal truth of Christianity, namely the Resurrection of Jesus Christ! She was given the privilege of announcing the greatest good news ever proclaimed: “Tell them that their Lord who had died is alive forevermore.”

Here’s what I learned:

1. Get up early

Whatever the week’s events or tasks I face my days are better when I get up early. By early, I simply mean a few minutes before everyone else. I know this is easier at different times and seasons of life but if it is within your power, get up early, before everyone else. There is no solace in 15 minutes of sleep compared to what awaits you. Get up.

2. Go to Jesus

Go directly to Jesus. Bring your wild-eyed, disheveled heart to him. Bring your world-weary withdrawn spirit and let him heal you. Again. Because you can’t live a day without being with Jesus.
Oh, friend, you may breathe and work and think and plan 24-7. But you can-not live—really Live—a single day without being with Jesus.
So get up early and go to the tomb. Cast you cares there. Bury them dead.
Cling to the Savior Alive.

3. Give Him your everything

Give him you day. There are a thousand possibilities for how you live it. Allow him to show you the best ones.
Give him your life. You may know exactly how you want it to look or you may not have a clue what to do with it. Invite Him to show you a better life than you could ever imagine.
Give him you. It’s what He wants and He’s what you need more than anything.

Get up early. Go to Jesus. Give him your everything.

What He’ll give you in return is much better than a little extra sleep.

Rise and Shine

 

 

 

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