Apples of Gold

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Who shall roll us away the stone?

'Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre?'

Mark 16:3

What does today hold for us? The sun is shining here in Stornoway and it is promised to be the warmest day of the year so far. Will I keep to the narrow path today or will I follow Him at a distance? Love would have me draw near to Him and follow as closely as possible.

What love these women had for their Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The love in their hearts had drawn them to visit a tomb where their Great Hope had been placed after His crucifixion. I cannot help but wonder at what perplexing thoughts that would have been racing through their minds. What kind of emotion flowed through their veins as they made their way to the sepulchre?

The great hope of Israel was now dead! The Living One became the dead one! Many had left all to follow Him. Homes, families, employment and now all their hopes and plans for the future were dashed as the Messiah lay in the tomb.

They had watched as He raised others from the dead. They had seen the blind receive their sight, the deaf could hear, the lame walk and lepers were cleansed, yet He had allowed the Roman soldiers to nail Him to a cross and there He had died.

What did the future hold for them now? Where now would they turn?

First things first though. How on earth were they going to move that stone? They had seen it being rolled into position and sealed by the guards. They had witnessed it with their own eyes. It was a real threat to them. An unsurpassable obstacle. There was no way round it.

Making their way to the tomb impossibilities clouded their minds.

Are we worried about what we may have to face today or in the days that lie ahead? Are we fearful of the impossibilities that lie in our path? How are they to be overcome?

Perhaps we know the direction that the Lord wishes us to take However we are well aware that in our own strength the task seems beyond us. Fear and trembling become our companions. In our minds a great obstacle can be seen and it lies in our pathway! We have not even reached that point in our lives yet in our minds we know it is there awaiting us. Are the lions that roar so loud chained?

Who shall roll us away the stone?

Much time is wasted in our lives by imagining things that may never happen. I am acutely aware of my inabilities and often they stand as an immovable object in my pathway and they paralyse my soul. I become afraid of what MIGHT happen.

I always seem to imagine the worst case scenario, yet I am far from being pessimistic by nature! In fact perhaps I fail all too often by being too optimistic and that causes bitter disappointments. I have known too many of them over the years. It has not been once that my heart has been broken by plans that have not gone my way.

Abraham when he was called to leave Ur of the Chaldees went out not knowing where he was going. He leaned not so much on the promises but upon the Promiser. He looked not at the difficulties but upon the King who was leading him forward on a pathway designed in Eternity.

We too, like good soldiers, once we have received our sealed orders from our Commanding Officer must go forward into battle with unwavering confidence knowing full well that we are in the line of duty appointed to us.

Our lives have been planned from all Eternity. We should have respect and composure in our daily walk, knowing that God has placed us exactly where He would have us be.

For years I fought against this. Seeking to serve the Lord in Romania. It was all that was in my heart. Day after day I yearned to go there. I wasted a decade of my life with this romantic dream. It was not to be. It took a heart attack to put an end to it. At the time I was absolutely devastated. I had believed with all my heart and soul that God was preparing me to serve Him over there.

How wrong I was! It is not easy for us to hold up our hands and admit that we are wrong.

I cannot put into words the hurt I felt in my soul. My world had come to and end. All my hopes and dreams had been dashed in a moment! I was so confused with the way God had led me. I am sure that many would have turned away from God after an experience like that, but I could not. Not that I had any great strength, but God had and has His plans for my life and He will not allow my romantic notions, no matter how sound, to get in the way of Him accomplishing His will.

Many have asked me the question, 'How do you know when God wants you to go to a certain place, or to take up a certain calling.' The only answer I can give is to tell them to WAIT! It may take many months or perhaps years but God will show you what He wants and where He wants you to be.

I am thankful now for the way in which He has led me. I no longer regret not going to Romania, rather the opposite. I can truly say, He has done all things well. I have moved on.

I have always had a desire in my heart to serve my King full time. In many ways I am doing that just now, yet I feel that there is more. He has better things planned ahead for me, yet I know not what as yet.

My Christian life has been one of constant learning. The same lessons have been taught over and over again, yet I have been aware that I am not standing still. I have the best Teacher possible though I am His worst pupil.

I have digressed so much now that it is difficult to thread this together properly. Each morning that we rise, we have the choice. We can as these women did, seek Jesus. We may fear the obstacles that lie in our pathway but we must not allow this to prevent us from going forward.

Remember our Lord goes before us and makes straight our path. When the women arrived at the tomb they found that the stone had been moved already. Go forward my friend and face whatever lies in your pathway head on, you may also find that it will be moved before you reach it!

Our God no longer lies in the grave. He is risen! He is alive! May we each know today in our souls, the power of a resurrected Christ. Arise let us go hence.