Emily Belle Freeman
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THIS IS MY JOY

AND MY GREAT REJOICING

A Moment's Pause

John 20:11 - Acts 3:8

Mary Magdalene is a favored woman in the scriptures.

She had the privilege of coming to know and love the Savior.  Perhaps she was a dear friend, even a close confidant.  We do not know much about Mary, but we do know that she was the first person to see the risen Lord.  I have often wondered why.

Was her faith the most sufficient?

Was she the most prepared to receive the Savior?

Did Christ know she would recognize Him when He called her name because she had before?

For whatever reason, she went to the tomb early one morning after Christ had died, and here an important lesson was learned.

She went seeking the Savior.

In her hour of greatest need, in deep despair and longing for answers, she did what she had been taught to do–– she turned to Christ.

Weeping, she sat outside the tomb.  A man approached her and asked, “Woman, why weepest thou?  Whom seekest thou?”  And Mary, thinking He was the gardener, replied, “I seek my Savior.”

Mary was a woman who had a great level of knowledge pertaining to the teachings of Christ.  She lived on the earth and had come to know the Savior during His ministry.  So we might wonder why she did not at first recognize Him.

Perhaps it was because on that Easter morning Mary’s level of understanding was that Christ was dead.  Weeping in frustration and sorrow, she sought to find Him.  She did not recognize His voice at first because in her mind it was not possible.

But then­­–– it was!

Mary’s testimony of Christ increased.

She had reached a new level of understanding.

How often do we come to a point in our lives when we are comfortable and confident in our relationship with Christ?

We may go forward for a time serving and learning.

Inevitably a trial will come that will test our knowledge.  We question what we believe and know of the Lord.  At these times we realize that our testimony is never stagnant. Trials provide an opportunity for us to seek the Savior.  As we prove Him, we gain more understanding and knowledge.  We come to know Him in a way we might not have before.

Mary did not recognize the Savior until He called her name.  “A moment’s pause, and He spake her name in those well-remembered accents…She could not mistake the Voice.”  (Alfred Edersheim)  Then, all of the sudden, light and understanding came.

A new level of knowledge; Christ was risen; He lives; there is life after death.  He had conquered and was victorious.

The Savior stood by her in her moment of learning.

He waited patiently until she was ready, and then He taught.

Through every trial our faith is tested.  Sometimes faith precedes the miracle.  Other times we must have faith to trust in God’s will.  At both of these times our spirit seems to be stretched to the limit as we learn, line upon line, how faith works.  When we find ourselves asking, where is the promise, where is the reason for this pain, and where do I turn now, I hope we will follow the example of Mary and go to Christ, for He is the greatest healer, the healer of all wounds.

 

In the hours of suffering perhaps the greatest feeling of comfort comes as we realize we are not alone.  Christ has said, “ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions.”  (Mosiah 24:14.)

Christ is always there.

In the darkest hours of the night and the longest hours of the day He is there.  He is accessible and available at a moments notice. His hope to answer our plea for help is found in Hosea 5:15 when He says, “In their affliction they will seek me early.”    He knows that those who believe in Him will, in fact, prove Him.  This process takes time, and in the end “a brother is born for adversity.”  (Proverbs 17:17)

Just like the experience Mary Magdalene had at the tomb that Easter morning, the Lord will come to each of us.

In our times of greatest trial He will visit, He will stand by us, and He will wait for us to acknowledge His presence and allow Him to intercede.  When our hearts are ready, He will begin to teach.

Through the gift of the atonement we will experience His healing power, if we but take the time to seek.

Emily Freeman