There’s an incredible message by John Ortberg called Saturday. You should give it a listen. He really takes the time to talk about what life looked like for not only the disciples on that Saturday – the time in-between the crucifixion and the resurrection, but what Saturday can look like for us. From that I wanted to share my own thoughts about our Saturdays and how we can steward them well.
We all have had one or more, haven’t we? We have had those moments where God has promised something, but the provision hasn’t arrived yet. So what do we do with that in-between time? How do we respond to those dark moments of “where are You God?” What can we do to fully rest in those Saturdays even though they aren’t pretty, fun or even enjoyable?
On that Saturday after the crucifixion, the disciples were hiding. Afraid of retaliation by the Jews, disappointed that Jesus had died, probably questioning everything. The Bible is clear that they deserted Him – all of them – and then locked themselves in a room, afraid for their very lives (Mark 14:50, Matt. 26:56, John 20:19). I can’t imagine. I’m sure it was horrible. And yet, the Messiah had told them several times that He would die but would be raised to life again.
It must have seen so far-fetched, so crazy, so ridiculous.
And how many times have we felt the same way? So what can we do in our Saturdays? How do we respond to those moments (days, weeks, months, years) of the in-between? What can we do with the middle – between the promise and the provision?
Abraham had a crazy Saturday. He was promised by God Himself to be the father of many nations. He was given a child in his barren years and then God had the audacity to ask Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. What?! Here was the promise and God was asking Abraham to give it all up, literally. So what did he do? He obeyed. When we enter the Saturday, we obey whatever directive God gave us last. We choose to follow Him even though we can’t see that far in front of us. Abraham did. And because of it, God showed up with the provision, a ram.
- Hebrews 11:17-19 – By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was offering up his only begotten son; it was he to whom it was said, “In Isaac your descendants shall be called.” He considered that God is able to raise people even from the dead, from which he also received him back as a type.
Waiting is hard, isn’t it? No one likes to wait. We live in a world where everything is at our fingertips in an instant. But there is purpose in waiting, especially when we are waiting for the Lord. This isn’t a passive, twirl your thumbs kind of waiting. It’s a waiting that is full of hope, full of expectancy, full of trust that God is going to show up and fulfill His promise. It’s the pregnant pause – the moment of transition from carrying the child, to birthing the child.
- Psalm 130:5 I wait for the LORD, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.
We encourage ourselves
Encourage myself? What in the world does that mean? Well, it means exactly that. Give yourself a pep talk. Tell yourself to keep your chin up. Read the Bible and find scriptures to meditate on that give you encouragement, increase your faith and build up your hope that God is going to show up!
- 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 – Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
- Romans 15:4 – For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
Remember His promises. Remember His faithfulness. Stir up your faith by recalling to mind all of the times that God has shown up in the past! Share the stories with others. Testify to His faithfulness and goodness in your life. Remember that He’s always with us in the moments that our pain is the greatest, the tension is the strongest, the hurt is the deepest, the despair is the darkest.
- Hosea 6:1-3 – “Come, let us return to the LORD. For He has torn us, but He will heal us; He has wounded us, but He will bandage us. “He will revive us after two days; He will raise us up on the third day, That we may live before Him. “So let us know, let us press on to know the LORD. His going forth is as certain as the dawn; And He will come to us like the rain, Like the spring rain watering the earth.”
- Lamentations 3:20-26 – Surely my soul remembers And is bowed down within me. This I recall to my mind, Therefore I have hope. The Lord’s loving kindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I have hope in Him.” The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, To the person who seeks Him. It is good that he waits silently For the salvation of the Lord.
- Psalm 77:11 – I will remember your deeds, your works of old.
What are you doing with your Saturday? I know I want to be more faithful in stewarding mine.