We just celebrated Easter. On Friday night we attended the Secret Church Simulcast and heard excellent teaching on the Doctrine of Salvation by David Platt. It was a perfect way to commemorate "Good Friday."
Easter seemed different this year. I think it's because I'm stuck in Saturday. Think about it--Jesus tried to warn His disciples of what was to come, but they didn't hear Him. Here they'd left all that they had and put their trust, their vocations and their hopes in Him. When their world came crashing down and their hope hung dying on a cross--the Scripture says that they scattered.
What did they do on Saturday? I would imagine that some of them laid on the ground and cried in anguish like I did last summer. Others probably stared at the walls and questioned everything they'd ever believed about Him.
Saturday was a long day.
Saturdays like that can be excruciatingly painful and way longer than 24 hours. Long hours when nothing makes sense, countless promises linger (and almost haunt you with their voices), and things are just "not right." It's the time between God's greatest work and His greatest glory.
If you're living in the LONG SATURDAY, I hesitate to even say this because I don't know if it will make you hurt worse or help you feel better. And I only want to say something that will make you feel better although I'm not sure words are ever enough on the LONG SATURDAY.
But because I've been thinking about this LONG SATURDAY for a few weeks now, and I read this in my little "Streams in the Desert" devotional book this morning, I'm going to share it:
"Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly." James 5:17. ...The literal meaning of this in the Greek says, "He prayed in prayer." In other words, "He kept on praying." The lesson here is that you must keep praying.
The devotional goes on to talk about Elijah's prayer that followed his great victory on top of Mt. Carmel. After the fire came from heaven, rain was still needed for God's prophecy to be fulfilled. But when Elijah prayed for the rain, he sent his servant six times to look for a storm cloud and six times the servant returned to report that there was no cloud. Nothing.
Yet the 7th time "a cloud as small as a man's hand" was reported to Elijah by his servant.
I would imagine that you've already prayed much more than 7 times! I know that I've prayed at least 7317 times. But, maybe God's answer is coming on my 8654th prayer and I only have another thousand plus a few prayers to pray.
The writer says this, "This is a story of faith and sight--faith cutting itself off from everything except God, with sight that looks and yet sees nothing."
This next part encouraged me, and I hope it will you--I DO believe it's true, but I am wrestling with it ...
"Our heavenly Father lives, and even the delays of answers to our prayers are part of His goodness."
Hmmmmm.....I know He lives and I know He's good--but it's been a very LONG SATURDAY for me, perhaps for you and I know for several of my friends. If you are one of those that I'm praying with, please know that I am praying for our storm clouds to form.
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