Silent Saturday

 

Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. –Psalm 30:5 (KJV)

Today is what I call “Silent Saturday”—the day between Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

As a child I faithfully attended Holy Thursday and Good Friday services. One of the things I remember about this time right before Easter is that no music was played in church. The organ was silent, as were the bells and other instruments. Songs were sung a cappella.

This period of silence impressed upon me the solemnness of the time when God’s Son was betrayed, condemned, crucified, and buried, paying the price for the sins of all mankind from the dawn of creation to the end of time.

I knew, of course, what would follow—Easter! The day Jesus burst out of that Mid-Eastern tomb in all His glory—alive forever! The return of music! The return of hope and joy.

Little, if anything, is said in the Gospels about “Silent Saturday.” For the Jews of that time, it was the Sabbath, a day of rest. A day no work was to be done.

We read nothing of what Jesus’ followers did that day.

We can only imagine what they felt: Grief. Hopelessness. Despair. Terror. If the Jewish authorities could do this to Jesus, who performed all those miracles and claimed to be God’s Son, what would they do to His disciples? So they hid, their dreams for the Kingdom and their places in it shattered, their future uncertain. The plan, they thought, went horribly, horribly wrong.

Or did it?

They had no idea that actually everything was going wonderfully, impossibly, exactly according to plan—God’s plan. They didn’t know they were in the waiting room—not the hiding place—between deep despair and unbridled joy. Between apparent defeat and glorious triumph. Between terror and a holy boldness that would set the world on fire and launch the Jesus Movement.

But, oh! That first Easter morning—who could even begin to describe the wonder they experienced at the empty tomb, the joy at seeing Jesus alive? It was exceedingly, abundantly, above all they could have imagined.

But they didn’t know all that on Silent Saturday.

What about you?

Are you in a “Silent Saturday” time of your life? Are you dealing with grief, loss, bitter disappointment, discouragement, night-long weeping? Are you scraping at the bottom of the empty barrel of hope? Fighting despair and feel like you’re losing the battle? Thinking that your dreams, your future, are sealed up in a tomb of decay?

Hang on, dear one loved by God. Saturday will pass. The night of weeping will end. The Son will burst over the horizon, His rays chasing away despair and flooding your soul with hope and joy.

It’s Silent Saturday, but get ready, Pilgrim. Sunday’s coming.

Thank You, God, for Easter, when hope springs eternal. Amen.

Read and reflect on John 16:16–33.

From God, Me & a Cup of Tea for the Seasons, © 2018 Michele Huey. All rights reserved.

The Challenge of Change

 

Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. –Joshua 1:9 NLT

It’s been a rough start to 2018.

Me and Rascal
July, 2017

On Jan. 2 we arrived home from a weeklong visit with our daughter and her family in South Carolina to discover one of my two kitty cats had crossed the Rainbow Bridge. 

I was devastated. Rascal was my little buddy, keeping me company during DH’s long workdays. When I worked at the computer, she’d curl up at my feet. In the evenings when I crocheted, she’d hop up onto the pillow-like arm of my cozy chair. Many times I’d be watching TV and realize she’d snuck onto my lap.

She slept on top of the covers at my feet, the perfect foot warmer on cold winter night. When I took my Sunday afternoon nap, she often stretched out beside me. She didn’t mind being cuddled, as long as it was a brief cuddle. I loved to rub my cheek over her soft, silky fur.

Then my 33-year-old son informed us he and his girlfriend were no longer together. I really liked her, too. I thought for sure she’d soon be a member of the family.

This past week my three grandchildren moved from the house they’ve called home since they were born – the house my husband grew up in, the farmhouse his ancestor built on land he homesteaded. The house next door.

My heart is breaking. Watching the swing set come down. Realizing I won’t see lights on in their rooms, knowing they’re home safe. No more watching them play ball in the backyard, swing on the swing set, walk in the lane after school. No longer will I pick them up at the bus stop on rainy days or watch the youngest when he’s home sick.

Even more changes lie ahead. Retirement. Our oldest grandson going off to college.

Change is a part of life. No, let me rephrase that: Change is life. Life is change. And the older we get, the harder it is to cope with. How do we deal with change?

Remember the 4 A’s:

ACCEPT: face changes with calmness and grace. Remember God is in control and will work all things for good (Romans 8:28). Remember Abraham. Remember Joseph. Remember how faithful God has been to you throughout your life. Remember Paul and his thorn in the flesh: “Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away.Each time he said, ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.’” (2 Corinthians 12:8–9 NLT)

ADAPT: fit yourself into the change. Ask God for wisdom, strength, and courage. Once again, remember Paul, who wrote: “I have learned the secret of living in every situation. . . . For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:1–13). 

APPRECIATE: cultivate an attitude of gratitude. Be thankful for what you had in the past and what you have now. “In every situation [no matter what the circumstances] be thankful and continually give thanks to God; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18, AMP) 

ANTICIPATE: look forward, not backward. As Paul wrote, “I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead” (Philippians 3:13 NLT).

Facing change? Remember, you are not facing it alone. God is right there with you, giving you all the strength, wisdom, and courage you need.

Help me, Lord, to forget what’s gone, appreciate what remains, and look forward to what’s up ahead. Amen.

Read and meditate on Ecclesiastes 3:1–11.

© 2018 Michele Huey. All rights reserved.