Our Time to Wait
by Jessica Galván
You Can't Cancel Jesus' Resurrection
In Chicago, we are about to hit the height of the Coronavirus pandemic right around Easter Sunday. It’s hard not to think about the timing of all of this. Many are asking God “Why? Why is this happening right now?”. The timing is not lost on us.
A shelter in place has been declared for our city. Our church doors are closed, Easter egg hunts cancelled, and restaurants aren’t preparing for Easter brunch. We are living in a time we’ve only ever read about in history books.
But there is one thing that is not cancelled: the salvation story. The one thing that our whole faith rests on: Jesus was nailed to the cross, died for our sins, and after three days he resurrected.
We have joy in knowing there is a God that loves his people so much so that he gave his own son so that we may live. But every Good Friday, I consciously let myself fall deep into the understanding of the sacrifice that was made for me. I don’t allow myself to jump immediately to the “happy” part at the end of the story but I sit in that pain as a remembrance of the reality of what was done.
This Year is Different
While I want to sit in that reflection, my thoughts keep getting pulled away to the disciples and what their experience must have been like during the three days of waiting after Jesus was crucified. They had just witnessed their leader, their Messiah and friend, endure a horrendous death. He was tortured and bled on the cross. Sure, Jesus foretold this to them but it’s one thing to be warned of something, it’s another to actually see it. Now that Jesus was dead and buried, they wait. Imagine what those three days must have been like for them. The Bible doesn’t go into much detail about that time and for the most part – I get it. Jesus is the main player here and the salvation we are gifted through him is the main event. But I wish we knew more about the disciples during those days of waiting.
Did they argue? Were they suspicious or anxious? Were they afraid and lonely? Did their faith waiver?
One of their own had just betrayed them. For the first time, they had to navigate their faith without their fearless leader in the flesh. Not only that, they couldn't mourn his death properly for fear of themselves being persecuted or put to death. Now, they wait to see if Jesus returns. Sure, they had seen Jesus perform countless miracles before, but this was THE miracle.
They were isolated from society, forced to be in hiding wondering and hoping. They were stuck waiting.
We Are Waiting
It’s safe to say that we are in a similar waiting period. The Covid-19 virus has produced this collective experience of waiting in discomfort, pain, and turmoil. Isolated, we wait and have to go extra lengths to stay in community and hold on to our hope. We are uncertain of what is to happen. We are promised that one day things will open again. Our kids will go back to school, office workers will return to their daily commutes, restaurants will once again be bustling with customers angling for a table. What we don't know is exactly what our new normal will look like.
Everything has changed.
- We are waiting for freedom from our homes as we stay locked inside.
- We are waiting to be relieved from countless hours of work caring for the sick.
- We are waiting for the opportunity to mourn a loved one who has died from the virus.
- We are waiting for the shelter in place to be lifted so we can start looking for a new job.
- We are waiting to see friends and family in person because video calls are no longer enough.
- We are waiting to be seen and no longer forgotten.
- We are waiting for our fear and anxiety to subside.
- We are waiting to feel safe again.
- We are waiting…and hoping.
This is just a taste of what I can imagine the disciples felt.
We Know How the Story Ends
This is the part where we remember that our hope has already arrived. Jesus’ word is fulfilled. He paid the price for our salvation and rose from the dead. Our freedom is here and present. Our hope is forever cemented in eternity.
We must remember that while we wait for something unseen, we have an advantage over the plight the disciples endured: we know how the story ends.
Throughout history, I’m sure many people asked God, “Why now?”. Perhaps, you have asked him this countless times, even before the pandemic hit. I know I have. The answer is not always clear and many times, we don’t get one. But while we wait, one thing is clear; God is present and always fulfills his promises.
Hebrews 11:1 reminds us, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” We don’t know what life will look like after this. We can try and make guesses but no one truly knows. Just like the disciples, we hold on to our faith in hope of what is unknown to us. Rest assured, our day of freedom will come because he did it once before, and he will do it again.