It’s Saturday. Due to some storms heading our way tomorrow, we have moved our Egg hunt with my kids to today. Expert opinions are headed in a slightly more positive direction, but with the consistent caveat of “we just don’t know.” So, what comes next? We are in a waiting period, begging for definitive answers. We are waiting to be free of this virus and all that it entails – death, isolation, job loss, economic uncertainty, discouragement. We are waiting for the crisis to end.
Imagine what Saturday was like for Jesus’ disciples and followers nearly 2000 years ago. They were waiting and wondering, “what next?’” They felt scared, discouraged and insecure. They had just been given this new burst of life from Jesus and now He was gone. Many gathered together simply waiting. Others scattered. They had no idea that Sunday was coming. What next?
My daughter, Amani and son, Tele have a book called Waiting Is Not Easy by Mo Willems. The book centers around an elephant named Gerald and a pig (appropriately named) Piggie. The book begins Piggie by telling Gerald that he has a surprise for him. Gerald is very excited and wants to know what the surprise is, but Piggie tells him he will have to wait. Gerald keeps begging to know, but Piggie keeps telling him he will have to wait. Gerald goes through the emotional gamut – anger, frustration, discouragement, self-pity. He finally says, “It isn’t worth it to wait!” and takes off, only to quickly return. Finally, as the sky gets darker Gerald, exasperated, says he has waited all day and now it is getting dark and he won’t get the surprise. He says, “We have waited and waited and waited and waited! And for what?” Piggie responds by saying, “For that!” as he points toward a sky full of sparkling stars and beautiful colors. Gerald responds and says, “This was worth the wait,” and Piggie says, “I know.”
The disciples and Christ followers had no idea what was next, what they were waiting for. I’m sure many thought that it was all over. It is in our waiting, in learning patience that we find out a lot about ourselves. We find out the things that drive us, that give us energy, and those things that drag us down. We have the opportunity to see some of our finer qualities and, quite frankly, a lot of our flaws. It is in the waiting, and wondering what is next that we have to stop and realize our need for the cross – our need for God. It is in our limitations, our uncertainty that we find our need for a Savior.
So here we sit waiting for all of the restrictions, the pain and the uncertainty to end. We ask, “What is next?” Tomorrow, Sunday is what is next. It is in what is next that we find our purpose: redemption and salvation. We have the benefit of knowing that Sunday is coming. The disciples did not, so you can imagine their sheer and utter joy, when they were despondently and fearfully wondering, “what next?” and heard of an empty tomb and met a risen Jesus.
As we wait today – for an end to a global pandemic and to an end of uncertainty, fear and loss – we look inward. We recognize our need for the cross and know that Sunday is nearly here.
And it is worth the wait.