Jesus said to her, “Mary!” John 20:16 NKJV
Have you ever felt overwhelmed by grief? Drowning in pain, disappointment and
confusion? Have you ever felt crushed by one set of circumstances only to have another come crashing down on you before you fully recovered from the first? Ever feel disillusioned with God? So blinded by your circumstances, you couldn’t see Him if He were standing right in front of you?
If we’re honest, I think all of us have felt that way at some point in our lives. I know I have! Not just once, but many times across my life! That’s why I’m so glad for the stories of the people in the Bible. It shows me I am not alone. The story of Mary Magdalene is one of those.
Mary Magdalene was one of the followers of Jesus. We’re told He had cast seven demons out of her. I can only imagine the love, gratitude and loyalty she felt toward Him! No wonder she was one of the first to head to the tomb after His death. She got there only to find the tomb was empty, His body nowhere to be found. Could it get any worse?! Not only was she dealing with the death of her Lord and Savior, the One Who had set her free, but now she was devastated to find His body was gone. Oh, the grief and pain she must have felt in that moment! As she wept, Jesus Himself approached her and asked why she was weeping and whom she was seeking. She was so distraught in her grief, she didn’t even recognize it was Jesus! She thought He was the gardener and asked if He knew where the body was so she could retrieve it. If it weren’t for her extreme pain, this scene would almost be comical! The very One she was looking for was standing right in front of her! It was then Jesus spoke one simple word to her, “Mary!” The single, most beautiful word that could ever be spoken to her in the midst of her pain, not because of what was spoken but because of the One Who spoke it! How personal and intimate Jesus was with her in that moment!
Do I ever relate to Mary Magdalene!!! While I may not have had seven demons cast out of me, I certainly can relate to being healed and set free in Christ! I can also relate to Mary’s pain, disappointment, disillusionment and, most definitely, I can relate to her weeping. I totally understand that “Can-it-get-any-worse?!!” sort of feeling! And then the Lord standing right in front of her. How many times have I been so immersed in the pain of my circumstances, I have failed to see Jesus was right there in the midst of it with me! I’ve even accused Him of abandoning me! But…oh, how many times He has made me know He sees my pain. The joy when He speaks to me in it. He knows exactly what I need to hear and be reminded of in my weeping and brokenness. Granted, it’s not always what I may “want” to hear, but always what I need. In that moment, when I recognize His still small voice and that He is speaking directly and personally to me…when I “see” Him and recognize He hasn’t abandoned me but is actually with me as I’m weeping…all is made
well within me! And just like Mary, I once again find myself clinging to Him! But, just like Mary, it is then I find myself absolutely compelled to go tell others about this Jesus Who knows my name!!!