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.

New Beginnings

 

See! The winter is past . . . Flowers appears on the earth; the season of singing has come. – Song of Solomon 2:12 NIV

 “New” is in the works these days. It’s exciting. And a little daunting.

Hubby’s retirement is on the horizon, and it’s been what’s occupied my mind and my schedule for the past several months. (Which is why I’ve put fiction writing on the back burner.)

A new beginning. For him. For us. While we’re walking away from a season in our lives, we’re walking toward another season. (No, I won’t be retiring. I love what I do. It’s a calling. This speaking and writing and ministering to my little flock.)

As we stand at this threshold, I think of Lazarus, the man whom Jesus brought back to life. He, too, had a new beginning, a new lease on life.

But he had to first come out of his tomb and then be freed from the grave clothes – strips of cloth that bound him.

I, too, have been in a tomb – a tomb of fear of the future. The unknown. The uncertainty. Will we have enough money to survive, let alone travel and live our retirement dreams?

I, too, have been bound by grave clothes: Worry, anxiety. About finances. About health. Will our health and strength hold up?

But Jesus called me – by name – out of my tomb: “Michele, come out! Be unbound. Be loosed.”

I need not fear the future. As Corrie ten Boom once said, “Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.”

He holds my future. He guides me, protects me, provides for me. I need to read Psalms 23, 139, and 91 every day. And remind myself of His promise to never leave me, never forsake me, to be with me always (Hebrews 13:5, Matthew 28:20).

He holds not just my future, but also my present. I need not be shackled by fear, worry, and anxiety. Yes, life happens, but I have a place to go to get what I need not just to survive but to thrive: my prayer room.

“Don’t be anxious about anything,” Paul reminds me in Philippians 4:6–7. “Instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”

We are all walking away from one thing or another, and walking toward something new, into a season of spring and daffodils, into a time of new beginnings, new hopes, new life.

What tomb are you being called out of? What binding do you need Jesus to loose?

More important, what new beginning are you stepping into?

Remember, you can trust the One who leads you, loves you, and lavishes His best upon you.

Thank You, Lord, for new beginnings, second chances, and hope. Thank you for spring and all it means. Amen.

 “Retirement is a NEW beginning, your chance to reset life, expand on your interests and find new opportunities for your best retired years.” – Wendy S. Fisher

Read and meditate on John 11:38–44 

© 2018 Michele Huey. All rights reserved.