When Life Delivers the Unexpected

Three women — Mary Magdalene, Mary (the mother of James), and Salome — were the first to arrive at Jesus’s tomb. They hoped to find someone to roll the stone away so they could enter and anoint Jesus’s body with the spices they had bought, as an expression of their love and devotion for Him.

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“Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.” Mark 16:8 (NIV)

Three women — Mary Magdalene, Mary (the mother of James), and Salome — were the first to arrive at Jesus’s tomb. They hoped to find someone to roll the stone away so they could enter and anoint Jesus’s body with the spices they had bought, as an expression of their love and devotion for Him.

What a shock they must have had when they arrived and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb, and then learned that Jesus’s body was no longer there! An angel, who appeared as a young man, was dressed in a white robe and sat on the stone that had been rolled back (Matthew 28:2). The women must have been even more bewildered to hear his words.

“Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’” Mark 16:6-7 (NIV)

Though Jesus had talked to His disciples about His impending death and resurrection, there is no record of Him telling this news to the women. They had witnessed His crucifixion, according to Mark 15:40. And now they were being told that Jesus had risen and was no longer in the tomb. The women fled from the tomb because they were afraid and confused. And they were grieving.

Grief can be paralyzing, but often we want to run away from the things in our lives which are confusing and fearful to us — just like these three women did. Sometimes we have no idea how to deal with unexpected or tragic situations. We don’t know how to solve them, or even how to experience closure. We do know that life is uncertain and throws us unexpected curves; sometimes we face tragedy and loss, and grief is a natural process that we have to negotiate.

My dad passed away unexpectedly when I was in my early 20s. I was devastated and felt like running away from the news that the rock of our family was gone. Daddy had made me feel secure, just knowing he was a phone call away. All of a sudden, I felt like I was living in a nightmare.

As the nightmare faded, the natural process of grief took place, and I was left with beautiful memories. I also embraced the fact that I’ll see Daddy again in eternity, because he was a strong believer during his time on earth. While I had previously viewed him as the rock of my family, I came to realize that the true rock is Jesus. He is our security, and He is just a prayer away.

Copyright © 2019 Evelyn Wells, used with permission.


Evelyn Wells

Evelyn Wells has a passion to glorify God by writing devotional material and creative nonfiction. She is a regular contributor to Refresh Bible Study Magazine, and she has contributed to the compilations, Breaking the Chains: Strategies for Overcoming Spiritual Bondage, and Heart Renovation: A Construction Guide to Godly Character. She has also contributed to Let the Earth Rejoice (Worthy Inspired) and Just Breathe (Worthy/Ellie Claire). She recently won First Place in the Verse Study Contest at the 2018 Enrich Conference. She lives in North Georgia near her children and grandson. 

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Evelyn Minerva Wells was born 7 Apr 1899 in Illinois to unknown parents. She was adopted by William James Wells and his wife, Edith Alice Squire by June, 1900.[1] The family lived in the Chicago area until about 1905, when they moved to Ashland, Oregon, and then to San Jose, California. While in the Chicago area (Palos), the family had become friends with Thorstein Veblen and his wife, Ellen.[2] Around 1918, young Evelyn, armed with a letter from Veblen's divorced wife, went to Fremont Older seeking work.[3] He asked instead that she do a piece on being an 18-year-old girl, which she promptly produced, after which she began working with Older at the San Francisco Call, and was even part of his household for a while.[4][5] During her tenure with the San Francisco Call, she interviewed Martha Jane "Patty" Reed Lewis of the Donner Party and wrote a series of articles in 1919 entitled "The Tragedy of Donner Lake."[6] She also wrote serials about Lola Montez, Sarah Althea Hill, and other early California personalities.[7] She married Loyal James Podesta (1900–1987), the son of a well-known San Francisco florist, about 1925, and had two children with him.[8] She retained her maiden name in her many books, though she is referred to in a few accounts as Evelyn Wells Podesta. She appears to have separated from her husband by 1950, when she purchased a home in New York for herself and her two children.[9] In addition to the books listed below, she also edited Betty Martin's best-selling "Miracle at Carville" (Doubleday, 1950) and its sequel, "No One Must Ever Know" (Doubleday, 1959). In 1977, she travelled with "lifelong friend" Nathalia Walker Richmond to Colorado to revisit the childhood home of Nathalia (supposedly last living daughter of John Brisben Walker) at Mt. Falcon, near Morrison, Colorado.[10] She died 6 Sep 1984 in Seattle, Washington.[11]