What Can Single Women Learn From Easter?
With Easter coming up this weekend, I wanted to look at another woman of the Bible.
This week we’re talking about Mary. Not Mary Jesus’ mother, but Mary Magdalene. She was one of the first people to see Jesus after he rose from the grave.
That’s right, when Jesus rose from the dead, he didn’t immediately show himself to the religious leaders and the elite. Instead he spoke to a woman.
This story is found in John chapter 20. Mary had gone to the tomb to mourn the loss of her Lord. When she arrived, she saw that the stone had been rolled away. Mary then does what I’m sure any of us would do in that situation and has a mini freak out. She runs to get the other disciples and tell them what she has seen. The disciples went to the tomb to check out what Mary was talking about. After everyone else left Mary remained. She was heartbroken that her Lord had died and that his body had now been moved from the tomb.
Jesus then speaks to her in the garden. She doesn’t immediately realize that it is Jesus. Initially she thinks that the man is a gardener. She realizes that it is Jesus when he calls her by name.
What an amazing experience! I can’t imagine seeing someone walking and talking who I had just seen die a few days before.
Jesus could have made himself known when all of the disciples were present, instead he waited until the other disciples had left and Mary was the only one who remained at the tomb.
This is should be such an encouragement to us as women! Jesus does not see us as second class citizens.
You might be thinking that this has nothing to do with you, that Mary was some sort of super religious woman who you could never be like.
Think again! You might have more in common with Mary Magdalene than you think. She was a single woman with a past.
In the book of Luke we read that Mary had 7 demons cast out of her (Luke 8:1-2). The Bible doesn’t tell us much more about her past, but Mary didn’t let her past define her. Instead, she let Jesus change her life. After the demons were cast out of her, she traveled with Jesus from town to town as he preached.
Mary didn’t stay home and wait for a husband, instead she followed Jesus. She knew that huge change that Jesus had caused in her life and she chose to stick with him and share his work with others. Mary followed Jesus all the way to the cross. John 19:25 tells us that Mary was there as Jesus hung on the cross and died. She remained committed to Jesus even when so many others had turned against him and decided to crucify him.
What an amazing testimony! I feel like single women are often tempted to believe that God can’t use us because of our past, or because we don’t have the perfect little family that the church seems to expect. This is simply not true. If we trust God and pursue him, he can change any situation into something that can be used for his glory.
It’s easy to think that the story stops there, with our difficult stories being changed into an amazing testimony. Once God redeems our past and changes our story into something beautiful, we have to share that with others! We should be eager to tell others about the amazing ways that God has changed our lives.
Mary followed Jesus as he was teaching and preaching. She didn’t just go back to her old life. Instead Mary chose to be bold and take a chance by following Jesus.
It can sometimes be scary to do the things that we have been called to do. As single women especially, it’s tough not to always be thinking, “Will this decision make it more or less likely that my dream of having a husband and family will come true?” These thoughts must’ve crossed Mary’s mind when she was trying to decide if she should travel with Jesus as he preached. From Mary’s story we can see that obedience to Jesus will always pay off. Even if we don’t understand it, following God’s plan is always best. He has better plans for us than we could ever imagine.
I hope that Mary’s story is an encouragement to you this Easter! Take some time this weekend to reflect on the ways that Jesus has changed your life and what steps he is calling you to take next.