- The Spiritual Discipline Of Fasting - October 8, 2020
- Have You Lost This Too? A Devotion For Hardships and Suffering - August 23, 2020
- Bible Verses For Grief - August 20, 2020
For the first time in this devotion series, there is no Scripture to begin with today.
Instead, today is about silence. Today is the Saturday between the Crucifixion and the Resurrection. It’s a day of quiet and waiting.
This is the day that led the first disciples to think all was lost and they’d never hear Jesus speak again.
Today, I want to take you through an exercise to help you envision what it was like for the disciples the day after the death of Jesus.
Imagine that you were one of Jesus’ followers.
You learned from Him, traveled with Him, and He had changed your life. You had never heard of such teachings in all of your days.
But Jesus often said mysterious things, premonitions that you didn’t quite understand. He spoke a lot about His time with you coming to an end, but that didn’t make any sense to you because you literally saw Him raise his friend Lazarus from the dead. You watched Him bring sight to the blind, healing to the leper, and restoration to countless individuals.
But now…it’s the end. You heard He was crucified, though you weren’t there to see it yourself. Instead, you feared for your life, so you went and hid in another believer’s home, huddled with about 20 other followers. Fear blanketed the house because at any moment they could come for you, just like they did for Jesus.
Sobbing and whispered prayer is heard throughout the home where you’re bunkered down. You think, “Is this the end? All of this, resulted in His death? Why couldn’t He save Himself, why wouldn’t He? Where is God?”
Of course, the first believers didn’t know that Easter was coming.
They didn’t have that foreknowledge. Even though Jesus predicted His death would happen, the first disciples didn’t understand – they didn’t know what Jesus really meant.
Jesus’ followers believed everything was over. Done. Finished.
In a way, we can all relate to what they felt. There have been times in each of our lives when it seemed like God stopped working. Stopped listening. That your request wasn’t being heard despite the endless prayers you offered.
It can sometimes seem like we are sitting in our own silent Saturday when we can’t hear God.
When we face hardships, it can sometimes seem as though we are trapped somewhere between the Crucifixion and the Resurrection, waiting on God to answer and rescue us.
The silence of God can be heartbreaking, especially when your world has been turned upside-down.
But on this day, after the death of Jesus, the silence of God was needed. It was a moment in history where God was working in ways we probably will never be able to comprehend.
God was still working, even though at the time it seemed like it was all over.
Have you ever been there? Have you ever found yourself in the middle of a difficult trial, but had a hard time seeing how God was making a new way? You just weren’t sure how you’d ever make it to the other side.
But then… you did survive and found yourself on the other end. And that is when you’re able to look back and realize it is actually crystal clear how God was working at the time. He was providing all along – He was making a way. You just couldn’t see it in the moment.
Silent Saturday is a post-crucifixion but pre-Easter moment. It’s the moment in history where it all seemed lost and evil had won.
But I want to lovingly challenge you today. Is this a place you want to keep returning to when trouble hits you?
Do you only seem to recognize God speaking and working when you look back – when you get to your “Easter?”
In a way, it’s easy for us as seasoned Christians to look back and see God. We’ve practiced looking back throughout our entire walk with Him.
But the challenge – the growth opportunity – that presents itself on Silent Saturday is to move beyond just seeing God when you look back.
The challenge is to find God in the present, despite all circumstances.
- Despite His silence.
- Despite your pain.
- Despite your fear.
- Despite the unknown.
It’s easy to look back on our lives and see God. But what’s much harder is to see God working in-between the crucifixion and the Resurrection, when all seems still and silent. When it feels as though all hope is gone.
The closer we get to God, the more we trust His movement and His way. We need Him now, because when the storms of life hit, we can bank on our experience and knowledge that God will get us through whatever we face. We can depend on the reality that He will claim victory, even though the night is long and hard.
We must rise above our emotions and our limited scope of understanding to rely on all that we know about God. We know God is good, faithful and true, so when uncertainties and hardships come our way, we can bank on that. This is how we stand resilient. This is how we have unshakable faith.
We believe beyond all that we can see. For we know Easter couldn’t have come without Good Friday.
We know suffering and hardship is part of our world, but we also know that the God we follow is the God of Resurrection.
So this Saturday, as we remember the silence of God, allow it to provide you an unbelievable opportunity to grow your faith beyond your natural inclinations. To choose to say, “I trust you, God, despite my fear and my lack of understanding, because I know You will prevail.”
Don’t confuse the silence of God to mean He’s not moving.
Don’t fall into that trap, because when you do…you find yourself in the same place as the first disciples – lost, confused, fearful, and locked away, hiding in a room.
God, thank you that you are always working, even though I may not see or understand how. Open my eyes to your presence and movement in my life. Lord, when I find myself in a tough place, like a Saturday after a “crucifixion” but before a “resurrection,” please help me to remember who you are. Help me to hold on to all the times you showed up and helped me. Help me to recognize you in the present and not just see your work when I look back. Once again, thank you ever so much that I have you. Amen.
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