I have never met a single human being who has said, “I love waiting. In fact, I am really good at waiting.” Inevitably when a conversation turns to waiting, whether the waiting be for something significant like important news or minor like waiting for dinner at restaurant, most of us declare, “I hate waiting! In fact, I am terrible at it!” We thrash against living in unresolved tension, against being out of control of a situation, and against facing the unknown for an extended period of time.
In Lamentations 3:1-9, 19-24, the writer is suffering under the weight of affliction. Because of the unfaithfulness and persistent disobedience of the people of God, foreign powers have overrun and destroyed the city, carrying the people of God into captivity. The consequences brought on by the sin of the writer and of the entire people of God seem unbearable. The effects are felt deep in his bones. It is as if his body has aged a lifetime overnight. He feels trapped, unable to escape the chains of his circumstances. Darkness surrounds him and his prayers seems to bounce off the ceiling, returning to him unheard and unanswered.
But in vs. 19, there is a shift. The writer continues to remember his anguish and travail. His soul is downcast, and yet… “this I call to mind and there I have hope:
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.”
Today is Holy Saturday, a day of painful waiting. Our Lord is in the tomb and we have placed him there through our rebellion, through our complicity with Sin and Death. We feel crushed under the weight of our sin and our sorrow. The absence of our Lord is an oppressive darkness, a crushing space void of light and life.
And yet, we cling to the Lord’s great love. The enemy encroaches but we are not consumed. Rather, we wait. We wait in the tension of this day. We wait in the recognition of our powerlessness in the face of Death. We wait in quiet trust.
It is Saturday. Our Lord is in the tomb.
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Grace and Peace.