Silence and Stillness before God (2 minutes)
This all happened on Friday, the day of preparation, the day before the Sabbath. As evening approached, Joseph of Arimathea took a risk and went to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. (Joseph was an honored member of the high council, and he was waiting for the Kingdom of God to come.) Pilate couldn’t believe that Jesus was already dead, so he called for the Roman officer and asked if he had died yet. The officer confirmed that Jesus was dead, so Pilate told Joseph he could have the body. Joseph bought a long sheet of linen cloth. Then he took Jesus’ body down from the cross, wrapped it in the cloth, and laid it in a tomb that had been carved out of the rock. Then he rolled a stone in front of the entrance. Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joseph saw where Jesus’ body was laid. Saturday evening, when the Sabbath ended, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome went out and purchased burial spices so they could anoint Jesus’ body.
As Jesus’ friends prepared his body for the tomb, they were also preparing to bury their dreams. Those dark days between Christ’s death and resurrection must have been marked by crushing disillusionment. This is not the way it was supposed to be. They had held onto Jesus’ promises. He was supposed to be their Saviour.
I remember a tomb in my own life. Yet another doctor, yet another report that wasn’t what I’d been praying for. I woke up the next morning and it was as if I was seeing a new world, filled with death and crushed dreams. My heart turned heavenward and I whispered, “God, I was such a fool to have hoped.” Silence lingered. Hope was gone and I decided to stop caring, shutting off my emotions like the turning of a faucet.
Then later, while showering, the answer came so softly and clear: “Your hope is never lost but is easily misplaced. Put your hope in me.” I thought I had.
But like the disciples, I’d taken my faith in God’s promises and made it submit to my plan of how things would unfold. We humans don’t see in full and, though we don’t always understand God’s ways, we can certainly understand the disciples’ disillusionment.
Today we fast from escapism. Take time to consider any recent tombs in your life and the dreams you’ve laid there to rest. Give yourself space and time to mourn this loss instead of simply escaping the pain.
Question to Consider
What is your default response when spiritually disappointed: Mental distraction, self-pity, emotional numbing? How can you resist escaping in the moments of disillusionment and make yourself available to God’s miraculous, resurrection life in your tombs?
Lord, I love you and I choose you. You are my pathway of escape, my tower of rescue where none can reach me (Psalms 18:2). When hard times come, show me how to turn to you for all I need. Give me your vision as I put all of my hope in you. Amen.
Conclude with Silence (2 minutes)
The 40 days of decrease blogs have been inspired by the book “40 Days of Decrease” by Alicia Britt Chole.