Good morning from my home office. It’s Day 28 here, as we practice physical distancing and isolating because of COVID-19. I pray you and yours are doing well. It’s certainly an “in-between” kind of day. Please allow me to explain…
I find it interesting the experts warned us this week–Holy Week–would be the most difficult so far in the severity and progression of this pandemic in the U.S. I’ve steered away from this week’s news for the most part, so I can’t confirm if that has proven true. But, reflecting on the timing of it all, as yesterday was Good Friday, the day Jesus died, and tomorrow is Easter Sunday, the day Jesus rose from the grave, I can’t help but believe this is the week where hope returns, right on time.
On Holy Saturday, today, we find ourselves in the middle between the darkest day and the brightest day. Between gloom and glory. Between deathly despair and living hope. Kinda describes us in this pandemic today, too, doesn’t it? We find ourselves in the “in between.” Just as Jesus’ body was in the tomb on this day between the day He died and the day He rose, we may feel we’re smack-dab in between the darkest days and the light at the end of the tunnel with this thing, this pandemic.
These in-between days are not easy.
These days are hard. It’s difficult when we don’t see progress. When everything seems still. When the eerie quiet is nearly louder than the once-clamoring noise of our lives. It’s difficult when our finances are strained, when job loss is real, when food on our tables is scarce. It’s hard when our schedules are flipped upside-down, and we’re doing our best to stay sane with a full house and a different kind of full plate. And it’s heartbreaking to be distanced from those we love. Let alone the overwhelming concern we have for our loved ones who are sick and the grief that lingers with those we’ve lost. Yes, these in-between days are terribly challenging.
These in-between days can drain us dry if we allow them. If we focus on the difficulty, the strain, and the stress. But, how can we not? It’s what we see, it’s what we hear, and it’s what we’re living. But, there’s got to be a better way to live in these days. There must be a different way!
I believe living in hope in the in-between is this better way.
On that day of long ago when Jesus’ body lay in the grave, Jesus’ followers spent this day waiting, wondering, and watching. Some were likely even wailing. Holy Saturday in today’s Church is traditionally a time for many of reflection and waiting. And, yes, maybe even a day of wailing. But, if we look at Holy Saturday as a parallel with this season we’re in, between the despair and the hope regarding this pandemic, we can use this time of “in between” to also reflect and to wait. To allow a time of wailing. To be okay in the pausing. And, to wait for the return of the hope we’re clinging to.
Now may God, the inspiration and fountain of hope, fill you to overflowing with uncontainable joy and perfect peace as you trust in him. And may the power of the Holy Spirit continually surround your life with his super-abundance until you radiate with hope!Hebrews 11:1 TPT
We live in hope now as we wait for the hope of tomorrow.
The day is coming, my friend! Hope is returning! Just as we wait today in expectation for Easter Sunday’s arrival to celebrate Jesus’ rising from the grave, we wait with that same expectation of the day when this pandemic will be behind us. These days of waiting, this in-between time, will all be worth it. I believe we’ll look back and we’ll see this time wasn’t wasted. That this time of waiting and reflection was an unexpected gift. We’ll see how God grew our faith and how He used this season for good. We will see how the hope we have now helped us grow our hope for the future. Not only for this life, but for eternity.
Holy Saturday, the in-between day, is a special day. No wonder it’s called holy. May this in-between time for us in this season also be a similar time. Sunday is coming, my friend! Hold on, it’ll be here soon!
For a little extra encouragement, I’m sharing one of my favorite new songs by Matthew West, “Hope Returns.” Perfect for our in-between days!