If we follow the Easter story the way the church celebrates it, Jesus was tortured and hanged on a cross on Friday. His Friday was the worst kind of pain and suffering. He lay dead on Saturday. His Saturday was tomb-guarded silence. Then on Sunday…
Glory. Resurrection. Redemption for all of us. Jesus rose from the dead.
God is in the business of Sundays, making things come full circle in the most redemptive, beautiful way. He can do that for you too.
But I think in the three-part process of Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, we often get stuck because of fear. Because fear wants to trap us in Saturday. Stick with me…
I think of bad things that happened in my life as Fridays. I would list these as some of my Fridays:
- witnessing a murder in the eighth grade
- watching my friend’s mom getting choked by her drunken boyfriend
- hearing the story of my best friend’s sister getting raped, knifed, and left for dead
- walking through a super tumultuous and sad twelve-month season in my marriage
- watching a years-long ministry friendship suffer and die
- being in a head-on car collision with a two-ton work van
- surviving eighteen months of silence from God, my dark night of the soul
- developing RSD (chronic pain disorder) following surgery after a horseback-riding incident
My Fridays are the things that bring agonizing, ongoing pain—whether physical, emotional, or spiritual. Fridays are the situations you just survive. You get through. And when they’re finally over, you face Saturday.
Saturday is the “What the holy heck just happened?” kind of feeling. Equal parts grief and astonishment while trying to pick up the pieces. You may ask Saturday why, but she never answers your questions. Saturday will not return your calls or leave a trail of crumbs. Saturday makes you feel uncomfortable and spiritually awkward. Saturday just doesn’t settle well into a soul.
When we are forced into communion with Saturday, we wallow in reasoning, blame, control, despondency, or denial. Saturday is not a place of wellness.
Saturday was my checking the closets because I was afraid. Saturday was feeling like I needed to be the savior of my little world. Saturday was Heather feeling responsible for her siblings because her mother was gone and her dad was present but absent. Heather and I needed healing to get to Sunday. To a life of freedom and resurrection, of redemption and childlike faith. Our souls so desperate for Sunday, and we didn’t even know it. Fear locked us up in Saturday.
We can get stuck in the quiet destitution of Saturday. Sometimes for years. I was stuck for more than a decade—past the pain of bad things but not yet living in the joy of Sunday. I just wasn’t ready to trust God again. I couldn’t make myself pick up my mat and walk like the paralytic, because I really didn’t think I was sick.
But like the paralytic, I needed to get up and walk. I needed to put one foot in front of the other, over and over, by truly trusting God again.
Is there a chance my story makes sense to you in some way? Are you choosing to be “safe and sick” instead of choosing to walk in wellness? Do you think there is even the smallest possibility you need to trust God again? Then, friend, take my hand and let’s go. Let’s get up and walk.
excerpt from Unafraid: Trusting God in an Unsafe World
photo: kate stafford