Last Saturday, my little brother perked his head up and asked my mom what today was.
“Saturday,” she replied.
“No,” he persisted, “If yesterday was Good Friday and tomorrow is Easter, what’s today?”
“Good Waiting,” my sister’s 8 years of wisdom chimed in and the foolishness of a child once again shamed the wisdom of the wise.
Good waiting. If the Israelites wandered and the disciples went forth, my life seems marked by waiting. I live in the Saturdays. But aren’t we all a Saturday people?
The goodness of the Lord, it is completed. Jesus cried out with his last breaths that it is finished. God’s work is complete. While many of his close friends had scattered and even denied Him, we know that John and Mary were there at the foot of the cross, hearing the benediction that with this cry, death was no more.
Do any of us recognize God’s words for what they are when they are proclaimed? Like Sarai, we want to rush God’s words, to force His hand to bring to fruition what we are promised. Waiting is hard. Dreams burn within our hearts and as time goes on, the pain that is brought by the flame grows. And we cry out for God to intervene.
God works in the Saturdays. Our days are marked by living in the promised of the completed sacrifice but waiting to see what God will do with the agony before us. The cross is behind us but we are not yet privy to the empty tomb. We sit in the midst of death and decay and wonder how can this be good?
Even as those on this side of the torn veil, we see the resurrection but we are waiting for the day when Christ returns for His kingdom. We are marked as a waiting people. The hope of the resurrections swells in my heart but as time goes on, the pain of the cross, the pain of the waiting mars me.
In moments of weakness, I am tempted to give up my pain. Wouldn’t it be easy to forget it? God won’t use it. The sooner you resign yourself and move on, the better. Shutting off the door to trust in God’s redemption, it is often a very appealing out. The pain of unfulfilled dreams is a hard load to bear and minimizing the pain, pretending to avoid the hurt of trust, it seems like an easy solution.
Living in light of the cross doesn’t mean an easy road but that I can live in the shadow of Calvary knowing that God is redeeming the pain. As my eyes land on the battered, bloody frame of the Lord, I know that every moment of suffering, it is not in vain. If the torturous death of God can be redeemed, how much more so can the suffering of those He loves. In the darkest hour, God wins.
So I walk through life trusting that, and handing Him my hurt. Pain demands to be felt. My pain is poured out like an offering at His feet. I have handed it to Him. Refusing to become bitter, to shield myself from feeling it, I present it as a tool for His use. Then I sit and I trust that He will do what He always does – redeem broken things.
In this in-between time, I must practice good waiting. I must sit at the foot of the cross and see the redemption God has promised. Leaving my hands open, accepting the joy and the pain of this life and handing them both to the Lord – it is how I live in this Saturday season.
John and Mary, they didn’t know the blessing proclaimed over them in their hurt. It is finished. It sounds like a surrender, not a victory cry. Let us never mistake God’s work for surrender. Though Good Waiting Saturday is marked by confusion, let us hold on to what we do know, God is working.