"They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus." (NIV) Luke 24:2-3
The shower! When I think back to when my heart was broken and empty, those moments always take me to the shower. It is there that I have always felt I can be me. Nobody is watching, there are no expectations. No 'having to stay strong', no 'keep a stiff upper lip', just me. Reflecting on difficult times in my life, I remember feeling most empty as I laid my frustrations, my difficulties, my desperation, in the shower.
I remember when I was told I had cancer. There was no crying, no pity party. Yet, at my darkest moment, I remember being in the shower, scars, bald, and scared. I remember when my dad passed away. Arrangements needed to be made, things needed to get done. Yet, when my heart was so empty, I was in the shower reliving last words shared and moments lost.
It was during those times, and many more, in the shower that I felt I had no hope. I reflected; I cried; I huddled under the water; I was ashamed. What kind of Christian was I that didn't have hope?
I can just imagine what it was like when Mary looked into the tomb and didn't see Jesus - nothing! Just linens but no body. It was bad enough watching her Dear Lord suffer on the cross for a death he didn't deserve. Talk about no hope. Yet, when she went to the tomb with the spices ceremonial at that time, and didn't find any body, how empty her heart must have felt. Empty tomb, empty heart.
I'm sure my emptiness can't compare to that of Mary's, but I can relate. I can also relate to the joy she had when she turned around and after a few minutes of conversation, realized she was talking to the risen Lord! I may not have the real Lord standing in front of me in the shower, but there is a true joy when I share my emptiness with Jesus. When I give him my emptiness, He fills me up with hope. Just as Mary found hope for a new tomorrow when Jesus spoke with her, I also have found hope for a new tomorrow when Jesus speaks to me.
Through the darkness of cancer, he brought hope of a new life. Through the emptiness of death, he brought hope for eternity. I realized, that as the empty tomb brings hope for us in the awesomeness of Jesus, so our empty hearts, when brought to Jesus, can deliver hope for new tomorrows. The only way we can receive hope from emptiness is by going to Jesus. When we go to the empty tomb of our hearts, we will receive the hope that keeps us going.
The next time you find yourself so empty, you just don't know where to turn - turn to the shower of hope that only comes from our Jesus. Tell Him your emptiness, show Him your brokenness, and receive the hope of a life filled with love, grace, and mercy from Jesus. May you all have a very blessed Easter of Hope.
"Dearest Jesus, just as the tomb was empty on that first Easter morning, our hearts can feel empty with the situations of the earthly life. We ask, as we go to you with our emptiness, that you fill us up with the hope that only YOU can provide - the hope of an eternity with you. Amen!"
P.S. - At this writing, I will have been sharing my thoughts for four years. It's hard to believe that each week, as I sit to write, the Dear Lord provides me words to share with all of you. I pray that this blog has been, and continues to be, a blessing for you. It has been a joy and blessing to me. Here are to the years ahead!! Love and peace to all.