A Hard Place

 It was Preparation Day (that is, the day before the Sabbath) So Joseph bought some linen cloth, took down the body, wrapped it in linen, and placed it in a tomb cut out of rock. Then he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb. -Mark 15:42,46

If we take seriously the discipline of solitude, God will begin to strip us of our dependence on His blessings. God will seem to withdraw from us, and we will come to know whether we love God or just His gifts. This is called the dark night of the soul, and it is usually marked by a time of spiritual dryness.


The Saturday between Good Friday and Easter Sunday is a prime example of this state. The disciples could do nothing because it was the Sabbath. The Sabbath laws were ironclad at that time. The disciples had to sit in misery with all their hopes and dreams dashed, waiting for Sunday morning. Wouldn't it have been tragic if they had broken the Sabbath laws, run to the tomb on Saturday to finish the burial rites and missed the Resurrection on Sunday? They were blessed for remaining faithful to what they knew, and in that faithfulness God lifted the stone from the tomb and their hearts. We too are encouraged to wait in quiet during hard times, reminding ourselves of what we know about God and trusting Him with the unknown.


How many times have we or someone we know, mistaken God's work of pruning, in times of spiritual dryness, as a need to find a new church, a new job or a new spouse? While sometimes a  change is what God is leading us to, at other times we ned to wait while God takes us to a new level of faith and trust in Him. This is where godly counsel becomes critical. We need someone to help us discern if we are being called to stay where we are and wait for God to prune the dead wood in our lives, or if God is using this spiritually dry time to move us in a new direction.

This devotion is taken from Spiritual Disciplines Devotional by Valerie Hess, a republished title from OMF Literature.

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