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Signposts: Daily Devotions

Written by Renée Miller

Thursday, April 29

Jesus said, “Take away the stone.”
—John 11:39a

We simply can't always do it alone. Life happens to us often against our will, and we are left feeling bent double by the tribulations, finding it hard to breathe the breath of life. Perhaps we lose our job or our spouse. Perhaps sickness or chronic pain overcomes us. 

Perhaps the dream we have been trying to fulfill fails miserably. Perhaps we lose all our financial security. Perhaps the friend we most trusted betrays us. Perhaps weariness engulfs us with the force of rain after a thunderclap

Often our response is to try to bear up under our troubles, to put a happy spin on things, to use willpower to keep us from falling too far into the abyss. Sometimes we are successful, but most often, we sink even more deeply into the mire that grasps us with the tenacity of a stinging jellyfish.

It's not that we are incompetent to work our way through problems in life, but because we are in an already weakened state, our power to help ourselves is diminished. We need someone to say, “Take away the stone.” 

We need to be the passive recipient of divine intervention, which may come in the form of a firm statement from heaven, or through the gentle words of another human being, or through the touch of an animal, or through the holy mist of the Spirit of God.

When the words are spoken, and the stone is rolled away, we see the light of heaven and the light of our own souls. We understand, yet again, that we are not alone. Ever. Not ever. Not ever alone. Never, ever, alone.

Gracious God, when life has shut me out from the grace of light, let me trust that others will heave the stones off my soul.

These Signposts originally appeared on explorefaith in 2008.