“No hope,” is what I told myself. Not until two days ago.
I couldn’t believe it. I just didn’t get it.
Two days ago I peered out of the window from my den onto my back deck only to discover a miracle. There was life where there had been death.
Before two days ago, I was peeved to say the least. Mad. Irritated. Angry. Why? The flowers that were “supposed” to be hearty in cold weather had been drowned out by a wet winter month. And dead they were. For a long, long time. Months, in fact. It just wasn’t supposed to be this way. They weren’t supposed to die.
I wonder what the disciples told themselves on that Good Friday so long ago. Mad? Irritated? Angry? It wasn’t supposed to be this way, was it? The One whom they followed wasn’t supposed to die in this way. Although Christ had prophesied of His death, the disciples just didn’t “get it.” And then there was Saturday….
John Ortberg so beautifully writes in Who Is This Man?:
“Silence happens on Saturday…”
“This isn’t Sunday. This isn’t Friday. This is Saturday. The day after this, but the day before that. The day after a prayer gets prayed but there is no answer on the way. The day after a soul gets crushed way down…It’s a strange day, this in-between day. In between despair and joy. In between confusion and clarity. In between darkness and light…the day when nothing happened. Saturday is the day your dream died. You have to go on, but you don’t know how. Worse, you don’t know why” (pp. 175, 176).
What do you do on Saturday?
You can choose despair. And it looks like this:
“There is never going to be a Sunday. It’s Friday. Get used to it. Do disappointment management, because that’s as good as it’s going to get” (p. 183).
Or you can choose denial. And it looks like this:
“Simplistic explanations, impatience, easy answers, artificial pleasantness, Hydroplane over authentic humanity, forced optimism, cliched formulas, false triumphalism” (p. 183).
Or you can wait. And it looks like this:
“Work with God even when he feels far away. Rest. Ask. Whine. Complain. Trust” (p. 183).
What about you? Are you living in your own personal “Saturday?” Have you experienced loss of some kind? Are you living in crisis? Are you confused? Is there no clarity? You perceive God to be absent?
Regardless of what your personal “Saturday” looks like, be careful to choose your reaction wisely.
To choose despair is to give up. Don’t.
To choose denial is to gloss over the harsh realities of life. Don’t.
The best choice: Wait. And in the waiting is when God is really at work, even when there’s no outward proof to visibly see what is going on.
On Jesus’ Saturday, it was the day of preparation. Preparation before something absolutely amazing and unbelievable.
How is God preparing you while you wait? Rest. Whine. Complain. Trust. This is to be real.
And the promise to hold on to: Sunday is coming. Even if what you have lost can’t come back, resurrection for you is a very real possibility if you don’t choose despair or detail.
Why? Because hope is released on Sunday. And we can’t truly live unless we have it.
To quote Ortberg, God in Jesus was saying, “Let there be life,” all over again (p. 190).
Life all over again. T
That’s what I hope for you. This is the message of Easter. Believe it. Get it. This is the way it’s supposed to be. Life that overcomes death. A comeback that you didn’t think possible.