In our days of hectic activities, we rarely just stop everything to take the time to think. Just think. We feel a sense of accomplishment in our busy-ness, even when we may not be making progress toward our goals. We are comfortable with much activity.
Occasionally life forces us to be still, giving us time to think. For those of us who thrive on productivity, this can be quite frustrating. It may be a small measure of time, such as the time in a waiting room that extends longer than expected. Or perhaps an injury or illness that limits activity for a season. Unexpected, unplanned down time gives ample opportunity to just think.
If life is going well, this time can be enjoyed thinking about all the good things that are happening. We can relax, replay the pleasantries experienced, and plan the future with optimism. However, if our lives are not going as planned and we are in the middle of problems, this down time can be difficult. Our minds race in an effort to find the quickest way out of our troubles. The minutes drag by and the days seem endless. The impulse to DO something can be overwhelming, even when we don’t know what to do. Solutions seem to escape us and God seems silent.
Imagine the followers of Jesus on the Sabbath that followed His death. Some have dispersed to their homes, others have remained close together. They are Jewish and their activities are restricted by the rules of the Sabbath. No work, no activity planned other than keeping this day holy. They are supposed to be resting, focusing their thoughts on God, honoring Him in this day.
They’ve just witnessed the most horrible events of their lives. Their beloved Lord lay dead in a tomb. They are in agony of soul, helpless, nothing they can do except think. They are thinking about the things Jesus said to them, trying desperately to make sense of what has just happened. The women are thinking of the burial process, the act of love it will be to apply the spices and perfumes to His body. Many are thinking about their own reactions when the pressure was on. Some are thinking about how they should have stayed awake that evening instead of falling asleep when with Jesus in the garden. Others are thinking about their betrayal of the One they loved as they hid in the crowd and didn’t stand with Him. One is thinking about a cock crowing and the words his Lord spoke to Him thunder in his mind. And they each wonder if they had done things differently could they have made a difference? They feel the weight of guilt.
They can’t enjoy this Sabbath. Forced to be still, their minds are filled with distressing questions, painful fears, and faithless doubts. They combat these thoughts by reminding themselves He loved them and said He would return. They don’t know how but they strive to believe. They weep. They mourn. They want to DO something but they don’t know what to do. They must be still and God seems silent.
Had they really understood what He meant when He said He would return, this day would have been much different. They would have gathered together and worshiped on the Sabbath like never before. The horror of the previous day would still be etched in their minds, but their tears would flow without despair. They would be excited about running to the tomb the next day, wondering where He would be, looking around in anticipation, expecting to see Him.
We know the suffering Jesus endured was for us. He died so that He could redeem our lives and reconcile us to God. But we can learn from the suffering the followers endured also. Even though they couldn’t see it and struggled to believe, Jesus did exactly what He said He would do. He was faithful to His promises to them and He is faithful to His promises to us. He said He would never leave us or forsake us. He said He would send His Spirit to help us, comfort us, lead us, and teach us. When God seems silent we can be assured His plan is still working.
*Faith is the substance of things hoped for….
What are you hoping for?
*Faith is the evidence of things not seen…
What are you waiting to see?
This is the Easter season and it’s easy to think about what He’s done for us. Let’s carry this with us every day for the rest of our lives – taking time to think on Him and believe!!