Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting there opposite the tomb. (Matthew 27: 61)
Oh, how slow grief is to come to understanding! Grief is ignorant and does not even care to learn. When the grieving women “were sitting there opposite the tomb,” did they see the triumph of the next two thousand years? Did they see anything except that Christ was gone?
The Christ you and I know today came from their loss. Countless mourning hearts have since seen resurrection in the midst of their grief, and yet these sorrowing women watched at the beginning of this result and saw nothing. What they regarded as the end of life was actually the preparation for coronation, for Christ remained silent that He might live again with tenfold power.
They did not see it. They mourned, wept, went away, and then came again to the sepulcher, driven by their broken hearts. And still it was only a tomb— unprophetic, voiceless, and drab.
It is the same with us. Each of us sits “opposite the tomb” in our own garden and initially says, “This tragedy is irreparable. I see no benefit in it and will take no comfort in it.” And yet right in the midst of our deepest and worst adversities, our Christ is often just lying there, waiting to be resurrected.
Our Savior is where our death seems to be. At the end of our hope, we find the brightest beginning of fulfillment. Where darkness seems the deepest, the most radiant light is set to emerge. And once the experience is complete, we find our garden is not disfigured by the tomb.
Our joys are made better when sorrow is in the midst of them. And our sorrows become bright through the joys God has planted around them. At first the flowers of the garden may not appear to be our favorites, but we will learn that they are the flowers of the heart. The flowers planted at the grave deep within the Christian heart are love, hope, faith, joy, and peace.
’Twas by a path of sorrows drear
Christ entered into rest;
And shall I look for roses here,
Or think that earth is blessed?
Heaven’s whitest lilies blow
From earth’s sharp crown of woe:
Who here his cross can meekly bear,
Shall wear the kingly purple there.
Cowman, L. B. E.; Reimann, Jim (2008-09-09). Streams in the Desert: 366 Daily Devotional Readings (pp. 169-171). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.