As you know, because I’ve mentioned it here, on the facebook page, on twitter – and now instagram – life has been fairly stressful of late. I know I sound like a one-note band, or whatever the metaphor is, so thanks for bearing with me.
We’re in a period of waiting. We’ve done what we can to make things happen, and now we’re at the mercy of other machinations to bring about a result. The other day, when I sat down to do my daily Bible reading, even though the passages had been pre-selected, I prayed and asked God to give me some specific encouragement through His Word that morning. And I read the pre-selected passages: Leviticus and the end of Matthew. Essentially, the Resurrection story.
Which I expected to read, because I was following a reading plan. So I knew what was coming. And at first, if I’m totally honest, I was disappointed. I had been hoping for some specific verse to pop out at me, and it didn’t. Leviticus is prescriptive, Matthew is narrative. And it was all portions I had read before.
But throughout the rest of the day, I reflected on what I had read. And the idea of waiting. And this familiar quote was stuck in my head, “Never doubt in the dark what God told you in the light.” (I googled and discovered it’s credited to V. Raymond Edman, not Corrie Ten Boom or others I’d seen it attributed to.) And they all started mixing together and bouncing off of each other.
We aren’t the only ones waiting for something. As you saw (if you follow on facebook, twitter, or instagram) my 8 year old niece had been waiting for the biopsy results of her brain tumor the last couple of weeks. That was some dark waiting. I’m also happy to share that her biopsy came back benign, and to say great big thanks to everyone who had been praying and sending messages of support. They were all greatly appreciated.
And I think of the disciples in the upper room for three days, waiting and yet not waiting – not waiting for Jesus because their eyes were still blinded to the prophecy of the resurrection (at least as far as it appears in print), waiting for whatever fallout from the community was going to come for having been associated with Him before his crucifixion. Lots of dark waiting for a lot of people.
There’s the other kind of waiting, the enduring kind that knows there isn’t likely an end to the wait on this side of eternity. My heart has been heavy the last few weeks thinking of the Yazidi and Coptic Christians, being captured, tortured, enslaved, and martyred by IS. If even half the stories coming out of that region are true, it’s horrific beyond my comprehension. Most likely for the majority of them, their only deliverance will be in death. And so you wait for death, in the darkest circumstance I can imagine.
And I know this is a loose connection, but thinking about waiting and endings and deliverance. And Easter. And how what the Resurrection gives us is hope in the waiting, and the grieving, and the dark. In he light, we’ve been told that to be absent from the body is to be present with The Lord (2 Corinthians 5:8). We’ve been told that the sufferings of this present time can’t even be compared to the glory that will be revealed (Romans 8:18). We’ve been told that everyone who believes in Jesus will have eternal life and be raised up on the last day (John 6:40). And we’ve been told that because Jesus lives, we shall also live (John 14:19).
That’s what gives us hope in the waiting. When waiting seems dark, we have the light of the Resurrection to remember and look forward to. I’m going to talk the next couple of weeks about Easter and maybe we can spend the time remembering and looking forward to the Resurrection together.
I got the image for this post from Lightstock, a resource for “faith-focused, cheesy-free stock photos, vectors and footage.” Registered members get a free image and vector every week, and this was one of the free images. If you register using my referral link, I will get credits to use towards the purchase of images on the site. Joining is free and, like I said, you get freebies every week whether you buy images also or not.