I don’t wait very well #understatementofthecentury. I like it to have happened yesterday, or sooner if possible. Being patient is a struggle and while I know that I have benefitted from times of waiting, it doesn’t make the process any less difficult.
During our recent un-spring-like snowy weather, I found myself looking out, searching for the hidden bursts of colour that herald the onset of spring and the promises of hope and new beginnings that it so gently whispers to us.
As I looked at our mis-placed winter scene, I thought of how those few days of change had brought everything to a standstill. We had been warned, but there had always been the lingering doubt; maybe it just wouldn’t happen; at least, not to the extent that the warnings had suggested. But, warnings heeded or not, the snow came and the wait for spring was prolonged a little longer.
Thinking about our time of waiting made me think of the waiting that first Easter. Despite many ‘warnings’ about what was going to happen, I’m not sure Jesus’ followers could ever have known just what the reality of those warnings would be.
Having watched Jesus being crucified and buried must have left them feeling heartbroken and very confused. Why would this happen? What good could possibly come from it? Had everything they believed just been buried in a tomb along with the One they had loved, followed and trusted? I can only imagine some of the questions they may have asked during those dark days from Good Friday, but I am sure that many were.
In life, we all experience times of waiting. Times when life is thrown into disarray, and we just don’t know what we’re meant to do next. Or, times when we feel that nothing is happening at all; that we can’t see a clear way forward. During those times, at some point or other we may well ask, where is God in all this? Why isn’t He doing anything? Why, quite simply, am I having to wait?
One thing the Easter story makes crystal clear for us, is that even though we may not think He is doing anything, although our time of waiting may seem unnecessary, God is working behind the scenes. He knew when Jesus was taken from the cross and buried in the tomb, that in three days He would rise again. He knew that the snow would come and then stop again. And God knows the season of waiting that you may be in right now. But, more importantly, He knows why you are waiting, even if you don’t.
In the waiting; in the confusion and doubt, there is hope. A hope that sees beyond this world. A hope that tells you not to give up. A hope that reminds you, that though the waiting may seems senseless, the God who raised His son triumphant from the grave that first Easter, is the One who knows why you are waiting. He wants us to trust Him in the waiting; to have hope in His love and faithfulness and to believe, that even when we don’t know, He does. Psalm 27:14 encourages us to ‘Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.’
And, as the words of Townend & Edwards remind us: ‘There is a hope that burns within my heart, that gives me strength for every passing day … a hope that lifts my weary head… a hope that stands the test of time…’ A hope, that even in the face of death, promises life.