This was the day they waited. The Lord was dead. They mourned and they waited. I can only imagine what that was like. They were afraid. They were distraught. They were defeated. They didn’t understand what happened. They didn’t know what was going to happen. All they could do was wait.
I don’t know about you, but I am not good at waiting. I avoid waiting at all costs. I shop when everyone else is home so I don’t have to wait in line. I have found many short cuts through obscure neighbors around town so I don’t have to wait in traffic. And when I do have to wait, I come armed with things to distract me- like a book or my phone. But in my defense, waiting has become a thing of the past in this world of instant gratification. We have technology at our finger tips giving us needed information and communication instantly. In our society, the art of waiting has wasted away.
Although we don’t wait as often, there are some circumstances in life that require us to wait- like medical test results, a job offer, our loved one to return from Iraq, or for the bank to approve that desperately needed loan. In those times, waiting is hard. Especially when it seems as if your very life hangs in the balance. I imagine that is what the disciples felt like. They placed all their love, hope and faith in Jesus. And he was gone. Their very lives- their very souls hung in the balance. And they desperately missed their Lord.
There have been a few times in my life when I have had to wait. The hardest time was waiting for my premature son to be strong enough to leave the NICU after he was born. And the waiting was made worse because we were several hours away from home. He was born in San Antonio and we live north of Dallas. The waiting was hard. Would we be there a week? Would it be a month? Or would he take a turn for the worse? There was nothing I could do to make it go faster. There was nothing I could do to make it easier. All I could do was wait and hope and pray. My son’s life was hanging in the balance. As a desperate mother, I couldn’t imagine an outcome that wasn’t positive. I placed all my hope and trust in the Lord. I prayed with all my soul that my son would be okay, that we could bring him home and when it was all over, we could pay the medical and hotel bills. The Lord blessed us with all those requests. Through the waiting, He called me to depend on Him and He grew my faith.
While we see waiting as torture, God doesn’t see it that way. He uses waiting to mold us and form us. He makes us into the people he made us to be while we wait. Like the disciples, we sometimes feel the absence of our Lord in the waiting. Our faith is tested. Our humanity is tried. Sometimes we fail and sometimes we rise. But one thing is certain. The Lord will never forget us. His love is so much bigger than the crosses we bear. In the waiting, he hopes we will find and embrace that amazing love and allow Him to help us carry our heavy load.
So, today we wait with the disciples. And we wait with joyful hearts. Because we know what is around the corner. We know He is coming back. We know He did not forget us. Today we wait, but tomorrow we celebrate the joy the disciples discovered at the empty tomb. All glory and honor be to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit forever and ever.