This Passover season, this beautiful time of story of our redemption God had a message for me that is not one I ever think of at this time. After all this is a time of victory, a miraculous story of a man they killed a criminal death only for him to not just forgive them during the act but to rise again and ensure their salvation and place in the kingdom.
I have a desire in me, I have been fasting every Wednesday since about February this year. The weekend before I felt God tell me I need to extend my fast this week, the week of Passover he needed to show me something.
I’m going to be honest here, I have done 21 day fasts and that alone has been hard, God wanted me to do a full fast. I said “ok God I have heard people having juices during these sorts of fast, I can have some too right” and he said no.
I fasted, I drank my water and I struggled to keep up with my work, my children. But I was obedient. But something was different..
I felt this extreme silence that I initially thought was just emptiness but it was silence. You can imagine my confusion, this is the first time I’m doing a full fast, denying my stomach and I’m hearing nothing from God.
As I taught my children about the death and resurrection of Jesus, I finally glued it.
Good Friday we remember the journey to the cross, the fear in all the disciples, the sorrow felt by Jesus, the moment of darkness as the messiah breathed his last breath and the disciples scattered.
On Resurrection Sunday we celebrate the victory, Jesus has risen, death has been defeated, our salvation has finally come. God has worked it all out and we have been set free.
While I hungered and fasted and prayed I heard God say to me; what do you think Saturday was like.
I pondered on this, Jesus is in the tomb, the Jewish leaders are going about the Shabbat, the Romans are doing whatever, what was this day like for his disciples and believers? We have the benefit of knowing how the story ends but I cannot fathom what this moment must have been like for everyone else. The silence must have been overwhelming, I bet they felt the hope slowly leave their being, the faith deplete? I wonder.
This is where faith lives God says. We so easily speak of hills and valleys, the mountain tops and the rock bottom. But how is your faith when it’s all silent and seems like life as normal. Nothing miraculous happening, no tribulation or suffering, just nothingness…when it often seems like God is not near…
Think about this, they were living their everyday life, going about their jobs. Then suddenly this man came, is he a prophet? This then went on to become years of miracle after miracle, healing of the sick, feeding the thousands, it was exhilarating. Now he has been crucified and buried. What now? Peter went fishing, back to life as he knew it….
To be able to experience the presence of God in the middle when nothing is happening is another Gift of this season. And as I felt God this Saturday, as I felt God in my life in this seemingly insignificant I couldn’t help be even the more grateful. God who has so much to do in this world, can still sit with me when I have no pressing matters.
While we remember God in the dark times and praise him in the good times, let’s not forget he is also the God of the middle, even in the silence he is there, in times you think you have no needs, he is there. That is the love of God, the unearned, undeserved Grace of God.