Last weekend we celebrated Easter and the glorious gift of grace in Jesus! But as we moved from Good Friday, through to Easter Sunday there is that pregnant pause of Easter Saturday. There is no church service to attend, no celebration; Jesus is dead. And it got me thinking about this idea of waiting.
Modern generations aren’t that good with the waiting- we like our internet fast, our fast food faster and our shopping experience without wasted time. I struggle with the meandering. I remember being on Year 9 Work Experience with a Costume Designer who liked to walk fast so as not to waste time and also in order to get a bit of exercise in as she moved from one clothes rack to another. This idea stuck with me.
A few months ago, my little lady looked at me and said “Mum, you walk fast.” As she thought more about this, she also added “I think you also eat fast.” I would have loved to point out that perhaps her applying a bit more speed and purpose in her walking wouldn’t hurt, nor would eating her dinner with a little more pace be a detriment to the running of our family. But instead, I paused for a moment and thought about the way I like efficiency and purpose and things happening when I want them to happen.
Being 37 weeks pregnant has also highlighted this to me. We are in a period of waiting. Sometime in the next 3-4 weeks, we will be welcoming a new addition to our family. We have readied the room and are in the process of readying our family to become a family of five. And now we wait. Everywhere we go, someone asks how much longer I have to go. People see a pregnant belly and become impatient.
We are not alone in waiting. All creation is waiting. In Romans 8:22-24, we read:
22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have?
Since the Fall, creation has been groaning and waiting and we inwardly join in. We look to the promise and hope we have of complete restoration and we long for it. Our bodies creak, our lives are marked with the effects of sin, our burdens at times feel heavy. But we wait. Not as one without purpose, but with purpose and a hope, knowing that what is promised will come to pass.
There is also blessing in the waiting. While we groan and we see our world and our loved ones suffering with the effects of sin, we can take comfort in the fact that we serve a God who is purposeful in periods of waiting. In 2 Peter 3:9, we are reminded:
The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.
In this period of waiting, there is blessing for those who come to salvation. God is patient so that as many as possible will come to Him.
Just as the angels, the disciples and the women waited on that Easter Saturday for Easter Sunday to burst forth, so too we wait. But we wait with purpose. We need to take moments to consider the grace extended in this period of waiting. Just as our family are readying ourselves for the baby, so we can be readying ourselves for the future we have. We can appreciate this period of waiting and spur one another on, reaching out in love to a world that is groaning under the weight of sin. For we have the answer. Good Friday has been and Easter Sunday did come. Jesus has been and one day He will return; for this we can hope with certainty.