Transformation Garden - March 31, 2015

March 31

Today’s Text and Thought of Encouragement:                      

“As you have therefore received Christ, even Jesus the Lord, so walk and conduct yourselves in union with and conformity to Him. Have the roots of your being firmly and deeply planted in Him, fixed and founded in Him, being continually built up in Him, becoming increasingly more confirmed and established in the faith, just as you were taught, and abounding and overflowing in it with thanksgiving.

Colossians 2: 6, 7
Amplified Bible

“What can the world offer you without Jesus? To be without Jesus is hell most grievous, to be with Jesus is to know the sweetness of heaven. If Jesus is with you, no enemy can harm you. Whoever finds Jesus, finds a rich treasure, and a good above every good. He who loses Jesus loses much indeed, and more than the whole world. Poorest of all is (the one) who lives without Jesus, and richest of all is (the one) who stands in favor with Jesus.”

Thomas á Kempis

Today’s Study Text:

“Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance.”

John 20: 1


“Lest I Forget” – Part 6

“Let Me Like Mary Come Through the Gloom”

Who is among you who reverently fears the Lord, who obeys the voice of His Servant, yet who walks in darkness and deep trouble and has no shining splendor in (her) heart? Let her rely on, trust in, and be confident in the name of the Lord: and let (her) lean upon and be supported by (her) God.”

Isaiah 50: 10
Amplified Bible

Has a darkness encompassed my life that makes it impossible for me to see God’s path?

Have I ever felt so confused and alone in the dark that I simply didn’t know what to do or where to go?

“Trusting God in the dark! Sometimes we have an experience in life that seems like walking through a long dark tunnel…When we reach heaven we may discover that the richest and deepest and most profitable experiences that we had in this world were those gained in the very roads from which we shrank back with dread…God will not lay on one stroke of cruelty, or a single one that He cannot give us grace to bear…Keep the strong staff of faith well in hand. Trust God in the dark. We are safer with Him in the dark than without Him in the sunshine. He will not allow your foot to stumble. His rod and staff will never break…At the end of the gloomy passage beams the heavenly light; then comes the exceeding and eternal weight of glory.”

Theodore Cuyler


“If I stoop
into a dark tremendous
sea of cloud,
It is but for a time;
I press God’s lamp
close to my breast;
its splendor, soon or late,
Will pierce the gloom,
I shall emerge one day.”

Robert Browning

“Let Me Like Mary Come Through the Gloom”

Several months ago I was having a night when I was plagued by insomnia. I decided that rather than lying in bed and counting sheep, I would rather get up and wander around the house. My “little” stroll took me into our living room where the blinds were partially raised. To my shock, I saw someone outside, walking right in front of our house. At first, the extreme darkness hid the person’s face from view, however, after my eyes became accustomed to the pitch-blackness of the evening, I recognized that the individual who was outside was none other than my neighbor down the street. Several days later, we were talking to each other and I related to her the fact that I had seen her out walking at 3 A.M. Her first response was laughter and then she asked, “So you couldn’t sleep either?” I admitted that I had plenty of “awake” time during the night and then she said, “Wow, I wish we had a way of alerting each other when we couldn’t sleep. It would be nice to have some company out there in the dark when I am alone.”

As we read today’s study text, I think I know how Mary Magdalene may have felt when she decided to make her way down a dirt path in the darkness of night. The Apostle John tells us that Mary Magdalene was the first of those closest to Jesus to go to a tomb on the outskirts of Jerusalem where her precious Lord and Master’s body had been laid.

I believe that for Mary Magdalene, Jesus’ death may have been one of the most traumatic events conceivable. Dr. Luke, who would understand the disease that plagued Mary Magdalene, writes “Jesus went on through towns and villages, preaching and bringing the good news of the Gospel of the kingdom of God. And the twelve apostles were with Him and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases, Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had been expelled” (Luke 8: 1,2, Amplified Bible). Of all the cases of illness which Jesus encountered, Mary’s case appears to be one we could call severe. I can’t begin to think how this precious daughter of God felt when she learned that Jesus – her lifeline to sanity – was dead. What would she do? Where should she go?

The answer was actually simple – Mary would go to the place where Jesus was! And I have to tell you, this is something you and I must never, ever forget when darkness encloses our world and we can’t see what lies in front or behind us. If this just happens to be the way you are feeling right now, entrapped in a world of overwhelming gloom, I encourage you to take the same pathway Mary did – take the road that says “Jesus” on the sign post. The prophet Isaiah who battled many times of profound darkness in his own life penned these words of advice which apply directly to you and me today: “Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the word? Let (her) who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the Lord and rely on her God” (Isaiah 50: 10). In the words of Richard Baxter, “Christ leads me through no darker rooms than He went through before; he that into God’s kingdom comes, must enter by this door, Come, Lord, when grace has made me meet Thy blessed face to see…But ‘tis enough that Christ knows all and I shall be with Him.”

This I believe was the yearning in Mary’s heart, “Oh, to see my Jesus…to be close with Him again.” Praise His name, when we crave the presence of Jesus in our lives, He won’t let us down. How encouraging I find the words of Pastor Charles H. Spurgeon, “Our longest sorrows have an ending, and there is a bottom to the profoundest depths of our misery. Our winters shall not frown forever; summer shall soon smile. The tide shall not eternally ebb out; the floods must retrace their march. The night shall not hang its darkness forever over our souls; the sun shall yet arise with healing beneath its wings.”

My prayer is that like Mary Magdalene, I will not let the gloom of life and the darkness of my path ever hinder me from pressing through to find Jesus – for He will never let us down. He will never forget us. And He’ll never leave us alone.

The great Bible commentator, Matthew Henry, in looking at Mary’s dedication observes that “her love for Christ was strong as death, the death of the cross, for it stood by the cross; and (her love) was not deterred by the terrors of the grave.”

What is the blessing Mary received braving the darkness and gloom, waiting alone at a tomb and in a garden weeping. It was the gift of the presence of her Lord. I love the way Scottish Pastor and author George MacDonald tells Mary Magdalene’s story:

Mary Magdalene          

“The demons blast her to and fro;
She has no quiet place;
Enough a woman still to know
A haunting dim disgrace.

Hers in no other eyes confide
For even a moment brief;
With restless glance they turn aside,
Lest they betray her grief.

A human touch! A pang of death!
And in a low delight
Then liest, waiting for new breath,
For morning out of night.

Thou risest up; the earth is fair,
The wind is cool and free,
Is it a dream of hell’s despair
Dissolves in ecstasy?

Did this ‘Man’ touch thee? Eyes divine
Make sunrise in thy soul,
Thou seest love and order shine
His health hath made thee whole.

What matters that the coming time
Will stain thy special name!
Will call thine agony thy crime,
And count thy madness blame!

Let the reproach of men abide!
He shall be well content
To see not seldom by His side
Thy head serenely bent.

Thou sharing in the awful doom,
Shalt help thy Lord to die;
And mourning o’er His empty tomb,
First to share His victory.”

What a tremendous legacy Mary’s life leaves each hurting child of God as her early morning visit gave witness to her risen Lord. Let me like Mary come to Jesus and bow at His’ feet in humble gratitude. In the words of Samuel Rutherford, “Christ chargeth me to believe His daylight at midnight.” So it was with Mary at the tomb and in the Garden and so it can be with us today no matter the darkness around us.”


Tell Them Mary

“Breaking through the powers of darkness
bursting from the stifling tomb
he slipped into the graveyard garden
to smell the blossomed air.

‘Tell them, Mary,’ Jesus said,
‘that I have journeyed far
into the darkness deeps I’ve been
in nights without a star.’

‘Tell them, Mary,’ Jesus said,
‘that fear will flee my light
that though the ground will tremble
and despair will stalk the earth
I hold them firmly by the hand
through terror to new birth.’

‘Tell them, Mary,’ Jesus said,
‘the globe and all that’s made
is clasped to God’s great bosom
they must not be afraid
for though they fall and die,’ he said,
‘and the black earth wrap them tight,
they will know the warmth
of God’s healing hands
in the early morning light.’

‘Tell them, Mary,’ Jesus said,
‘smelling the blossomed air,
tell my people to rise with me
to heal the Earth’s despair.’”

Edwina Gateley
A Warm Moist Salty God

When I was in college, nearly every weekend my roommate and I would put on an old “LP” vinyl record of Elvis Presley songs and one of our favorites was the hymn “In the Garden.” I credit Elvis’ soulful arrangement and voice on this song as part of my inspiration for calling this website – Transformation Garden.

“In the Garden” performed by Elvis Presley

Your friend,

Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
[email protected]

P. S. Thank you so much for the gifts you send to Transformation Garden which continue to assist our ministry here in the United States and in 192 countries around the world.  100% of your donation goes directly to providing for our daily devotionals and gift bookmarks. Transformation Garden is a non-profit organization so your gift is tax-deductible and you will receive a receipt for any gift you send.

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For more from Dorothy, please visit

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