Sunday, April 24, 2011

“Who Will Roll The Stone Away?”

"When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?” (Mark 16:1-3, NIV)

“Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?” I traced the words as I read Mark 16:3. At my toddler’s cries, I slid my Bible into the nightstand. But the women’s question echoed in my mind through the day.

“Lord, that’s like me, isn’t it?” I whispered later that morning, thinking of the many concerns that fill my mind about almost every facet of my life. “What if the editor doesn’t like my ideas?” “Will my book sales do well?” “What about my next book?” Though the recent diagnosis of ankolysing spondylitis had brought some relief, anxieties still took hold of me whenever I had a flare-up. “What if I lose my sight?” “Will I be able to carry my toddler today?” “Can I make my deadline with stiff, weak fingers?”

Later, in the stillness of a sleeping household, I took my Bible and settled myself on a sofa downstairs. As I read the rest of Mark 16, peace anchored my heart as a few simple truths became clear:

* “But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away” (Mark 16:4).
The problems I face are no surprise to Jesus. He knows the difficulties that come my way, and He takes care of them. Though His answers may not always fit my timing, and though I may not always have an answer this side of eternity, He promises His all-sufficient grace for every trial.

* “Don’t be alarmed…” (Mark 16:6).
The message of the angel at the tomb to the women was similar to the one the angelic host gave the shepherds at Jesus’ birth: “Don’t be afraid” (Luke 2:16). It’s a message I’d do well to keep in mind. My fears, doubts and anxieties when left unchecked, cause me to stumble along the path of His will. Yet, the One who called me is also He who promises, “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).

* “He has risen! He is not here” (Mark 16: 6).
This is the reason I don’t need to fear no matter what comes my way. Jesus, the Christ, the Son of God, is alive! He who has overcome death, sin, and all the powers of evil forever is the One who walks beside me daily, infusing me, through His Spirit, with His resurrection power.

* “But go, tell his disciples and Peter…” (Mark 16:7).
The stone is rolled away, the grave is empty, and our Lord is alive. That’s our message as writers of faith—to share what we have experienced because of Jesus.

May the resurrected One who lives forever breathe on us His Spirit and fill us with His words of hope and life that others may know Him and the power of His resurrection. To Him be glory forever!

When Anita Mellott isn’t homeschooling, she writes to encourage others. Her book, School Is Where the Home Is: 180 Devotions for Parents is available for pre-order. 
Photo courtesy of


Pat Rowland said...

Anita, I also question the future with regard to health issues. It is always reassuring to remember that God knows our future and has planned for it perfectly already. Your devotional is beautifully done.

Peggy Blann Phifer said...

Anita, this touched me in a special place today. As one who has been given the same diagnosis as you, I know all to well the ups and downs you are experiencing.

It is so unbelievably freeing to read these words again and feel, anew, the Wonder of it all.

Anita Mellott said...

Pat and Peggy: May the Lord pour out His healing balm on you and give you peace.

So glad the devotional encouraged you today.

Julie Garmon said...

Beautiful words of hope, Anita!! Such honest writing that draws us back to the Father.

Anita Mellott said...

Thanks, Julie:).