by Andrew Cromwell
Life is full of moments of great joy and celebration as well as moments of great sadness and mourning. If you haven’t had both intensely good days and bad days, then you just haven’t lived long enough! Wait a few more days and you’ll see what I mean.
But there are also moments of great doubt and distress. These “in-between” moments generally occur in-between the joy and the sadness. Life is full of “in-betweens”. I would argue that “in-betweens” actually make up most of our life. We tend to remember the highs (graduations, promotions, anniversaries) and the lows (flunked tests, the time we were fired, the ugly divorce), but we live daily life somewhere in the middle (eternal study sessions, the daily grind, the daily grind).
Because so much of life is made up of “in-betweens”, what matters most is not how we deal with the up and downs but instead how we deal with the day to day. That is not to say how we respond to the mountains and valleys of life is unimportant, for these moments are pivotal. But because these highs and lows of life come infrequently compared to the everyday in-between, it is the way we live in the in-between that actually defines our response to the wonderful and terrible moments of life.
On our calendar, today is the Saturday before Easter. It is the day after Jesus’ crucifixion and death. It is the day before His resurrection. It is an in-between day. It is a day when Jesus’ followers faced doubt and discouragement. They had watched their Hope was nailed to the Cross and now they wondered if it was all a pipe dream. Jesus Himself had told them, “tonight you will all fall away on account of me, for it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’”
Saturday was a difficult day. It was an unprecedented day for the disciples. And while the Biblical account does not give us much information on what they did during this in-between day, it is safe to assume that they gathered together and worshipped just as they had every other Saturday before. For them, Saturday was a day of rest, worship and prayer. So what did they do on that day that was the worst day of their lives? They rested, worshipped and prayed.
I have no doubt that their prayers were tear-filled and perhaps even anger laden. They didn’t understand and they didn’t know exactly what to do. They were in uncharted territory. But what they did was what they had done in every other in-between day, they talked to God about it. And because they did, they were in the right place to receive the news about Christ’s resurrection.
You and I would be wise to follow this same strategy in our own lives. Establishing a routine of worship and prayer in the in-between will carry us through the worst days and it will prepare us for our best days. It starts with today and it can be as simple as a conversation with Father God.