“But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large,had been rolled away. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side and they were alarmed. ‘Don’t be alarmed,’ he said. ‘You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him…’ -Mark 16:4-6
My heart has been guarded toward God for the past eleven years of my life give or take due to painful experiences. The truth though, is that no one is a stranger to hardship. Some of us come out unscathed. Others of us emerge from the miry clay with a heart marred by turmoil. That my friends is exactly what I refer to as the stone that covers our hearts!
Jesus is powerful enough to roll the stone away! He overcame the grave you know. I can even see him moving in my life, slowly chipping away at the stone through women of God and their gentleness. I however, keep asking God these questions: Why did you ever allow difficult things to happen in the first place if you knew you were only going to heal them? And why do you take the time to heal if you know that more difficult things are going to happen all over again? Like what is the point of this cycle? The only thing that keeps coming to my mind are the lyrics to the song “New Wine” by Hillsong: “In the crushing, in the pressing, you are making new wine…So I yield to you into your careful hand, when I trust you I don’t need to understand…. Jesus make new wine out of me.
We are vessels in the hand of the potter. We cannot discern for ourselves what is good or bad for us, or how we will be used. We can only surrender, and when we surrender He is faithful to make new wine. He is faithful that nothing will be wasted. A wise man once told me: “God will be a debtor to no man.” You can take that to the bank! God will use your every heart’s cry and suffering to make beauty from the ahses.
“To bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ahes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of despair.” Isaiah 61:3
Divine beauty is unraveling through this mess we call life. If only we would press into Christ and ask him to open the eyes of our hearts to be able to see things the way that he sees them. I look all around me and see His beauty in the body of believers that love him and lay down their lives for him because he first loved us. I see his beauty in the fact that when I first arrived to Colorado I was homeless, and now I live in quaint little neighborhood in South Denver surrounded by trees and friendly neighbors. I see beauty in the pastries I’m inspired to cook in my kitchen, and oh how I rejoice when friends eat them.
With each dose of healing my gaurd is slowly coming down…
So friend, in what ways can you allow God to chip away at the stone over your heart? Can you trust your pain in Jesus’ crucified hands? Can you lay down your life and trust that he has authority to raise it back up again because he conquered the grave? He is faithful to use the pain and to make new wine out of you. You are a beautiful vessel in the hands of loving potter.
These words may seem hard to swallow, as you may be in a place of utter darkness right now. I just want to encourage you that if nothing seems to be able to lift your spirits right now, that’s okay! Please do not judge yourself or beat yourself up for feeling like you cannot relate. Seek help! Do not allow the enemy to corner you and make you feel alone. Reach out for help.