Waiting on Sunday
If you know much about me at all, you know that I am an introvert and a homebody. I like to tell people that I have been training for this covid-19, self-isolation thing my whole life. I have plenty of friends who will tell me I’m crazy, but the truth remains - I love staying home, free of obligations and embracing the sweatpants. Lately though, the lack of socialization has even gotten to me. I can only imagine what it must be doing to all of the extroverts and social butterflies of the world.
With a global pandemic upon us, and the United States suffering over 48,000 deaths from this horrible virus, many churches have held online services and encouraged families to stay home. For many, Easter weekend also looked different than ever before. It was different for my family as well. We didn’t get pictures with cute bunnies, or get to dress up in our “Sunday best” and head to service on Easter morning. We didn’t find all of the egg hunts within a 30 mile radius of our house and end up with countless amounts of candy and plastic eggs.
What this Easter did allow for was more time for contemplation and processing on why we are even celebrating in the first place. Yes, of course Easter celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ three days after a gruesome crucifixion on our behalf. I suppose growing up in church I have realized that from quite a young age. This year though... this year, with all of the hustle and bustle of Easter stripped away, I was able to fully appreciate each moment of the sweet redemption story.
My family walked through The Easter Storybook: 40 Bible Stories Showing Who Jesus Is by Laura Richie. You can find it on Amazon and I highly recommend it if you want to go ahead and get a head start on next year. I did resurrection eggs with my boys and retold the Easter story over and over again. Eric and I sat down to watch The Passion of the Christ which is a hard movie to watch, but so important to be reminded of just what all Jesus endured because of His great love for us. On Thursday evening, our family had a “last supper” with grape juice and bread as we read through the Bible together. What I’m trying to say is that we had time to truly experience the entire week of Easter. To teach it to our children and to be reminded ourselves of its importance.
...and then Saturday came.
And if you know the story, you know Jesus died on Friday and was resurrected on Sunday - but what about Saturday? Any other year, Saturday would be filled with neighborhood egg hunts, carnivals, going to parks or hanging out with friends. But this Saturday was different.
This Saturday, I got to experience the heaviness & sadness that came with just sitting in the in-between.
I experienced mourning Jesus’ suffering and death on the cross- not quite celebrating the resurrection and Jesus’ victory over death. Just waiting for Sunday, I began to realize all of the emotions Mary, the disciples, and other followers of Jesus must have been experiencing that day. For all they knew, Jesus was gone and hope was lost. It quickly reminded me of life in this broken world. We all have something we are waiting on…
...a critical diagnosis or cure.
...a healed relationship.
...a job promotion.
...a prayer to be answered.
...our kids to stop arguing (just me?).
...our spouse to come back to us.
...rest from anxiety and depression.
The list goes on. For me, it is heaven. I wish everyday so desperately for heaven. Some days I feel like it could come at any moment. Other days I feel like it is completely out of my reach. But everyday I wait for heaven - when I can be united with Christ forever. Where pain and suffering is nonexistent. Where I get to meet my baby girl for the first time - see her smile, hear her laugh, and look into her loving eyes. For me, without question it is heaven.
No matter what life has you waiting on, I understand it can feel like a Saturday. It can feel like every good thing you thought you knew has been stripped away. In this life, God can seem so distant at times. You might question His methods, His purposes, His goodness and His love. It can feel heavy and dark and hopeless and utterly unbearable. I get it. I’ve been there- at the end of myself. Stuck in a Saturday.
But let me assure you in this moment my friend: Sunday is coming!
It may not come when you want it to. It may not even come how you want it to, but it will come. It will come in God’s perfect and loving timing - either in this life or in heaven. As a Christian, you have the ability to confidently rest in this promise...God’s promise!
“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” - John 16:33
In the meantime, on your own “Saturday,” don’t lose hope. Press into Jesus. Know His character and what His word says about His deep love for you. Tune in to church online. Facetime or call a dear friend. It can be so hard to reach out during these days of social isolation, but don’t be afraid to lean on your spouse or trusted friend/family member. Let them in and share your struggles so that they can be praying over you. I bet you anything they desire to walk with you through your Saturday, because chances are they have a Saturday, too.
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