Mark 15:46 “So Joseph bought some linen cloth, took down the body, wrapped it in the linen, and placed it in a tomb cut out of rock. Then he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb.” NIV
As I meditated on this verse, I saw several things that helped me greatly, especially with what I was facing at that time. When I read about what Joseph did, I realized he continued to respect and reverence Jesus, as well as giving to Him, even in His death. This was despite the fact that everything he had hoped for and believed in concerning Jesus had just died, as far as he knew. Picture it with me. Joseph peacefully and methodically wrapped Jesus’ body in fine linen, and placed it in the new tomb he had purchased – after having brought it from Calvary. This was the body, now dead, on which he had based his reason for hope and his reason for living. Then he rolled a large stone against the opening. He wasn’t going back in, but he also made sure others wouldn’t be able to go in either. Who knows what they might do? Joseph continued to respect Jesus in every way, even in what appeared to be the end.
What would he do now? He was probably very confused. We know what happened only three days later. Three days later, so did he; but for those 3 days, he didn’t know. Because of how he treated Jesus’ body upon His death, my assumption is that during this time, he only spoke of Jesus in terms of the wonderful things He did and said. If he voiced his many questions, including what he was to do now, it was probably only to himself. Underneath it all, he knew he could never be the same because of having known Jesus, even if he never understood what happened at His death. Joseph made the decision that he would not go back to his old ways and pretend it never happened, pretend he never conversed with Jesus, never believed what He said was true.
Lest you think I’m making too much of this verse, the Lord directed me to it at a time when a ministry He had birthed through me five years earlier was in the final throes of ending – at His direction. I chose to stay with it to the very end, giving my all to it as long as there was “breath” in it. When it was finished, would I also choose to lovingly “wrap it up” and “secure it” so that no harm would come to it? Would I walk away from it after it ended and forget all about it, forget about what I learned from it and how I was changed by it – not to mention the others who were touched and changed by it, as well? Would I continue to trust the Lord to bring the vision to completion, even though this vehicle of ministry had come to its end? Most importantly, just like Joseph, would I continue to trust God even when I didn’t know what I would do without this in my life?
The following, straight from my journal, is the answer that rose up in me and the declaration I recorded after considering these questions: “Lord, I can’t / won’t go back. I’ve been forever changed by You and Your work in my life. You’ve done so much in me in the midst of this ministry. So I will wait on You, Lord. I may only have a day or 3 days. But it may be 3 months or 3 years. Lord, that’s hard to write, because my flesh screams that I must have some direction sooner than that. But I’m just going to come back to trusting You when I can’t see.”
What about you? What will you choose? Consider the Amplified version of Proverbs 3:5-6. “Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths.” He is fully trustworthy!