It is the time between death and resurrection, the already and the not-yet of God’s kingdom, that is often the most painful. We wonder when our answer will appear, wanting desperately to have a clear picture of what God is doing in this waiting space. And each of us has been there, haven’t we? Perhaps you’re waiting for the cure, waiting for the hardened child to return, waiting for the baby to be born, waiting for your loved one to pass in peace, waiting to conceive.
But isn’t it during the dry, barren days of life that we cling most to Jesus? Are we not transformed by the Holy Spirit through the painful pruning away of our fleshly desires as He imparts grace? In my husband’s sermon this Palm Sunday he talked about that grace. We often mistake “grace” for that prayer we say before a meal or behaving with quiet kindness. But God’s Grace does the transforming work in our lives. It is God’s grace that meets us before we’ve repented or even recognized a problem. God’s grace is poured out in every corner our lives in gifts we don’t deserve. God’s grace is Jesus taking the form of a servant for our salvation. God’s grace is Jesus entering into Jerusalem on a humble donkey, never demanding anyone bow to his deity. And yet it is at the name of Jesus every knee will bow—in heaven and on earth and under the earth—and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father (Phil 2:10-11). We bow because we’ve encountered Jesus, and we’ve been changed.
And now we approach Good Friday with somber hearts, confessing our sins and encountering once again the glorious sacrifice of Christ’s body broken. And then we wait. In the dark nights we can still hope, we can beg God for comfort and clarity. We can know He is only good.
Then it’s resurrection day – the pinnacle of our faith, the turning point of human history. God became flesh, lived servanthood, bore our transgressions, and conquered death. There is hope in the waiting space.