Whilst Every Day is Saturday

I had the privilege of knowing Ann Absalom during the brief 4 years I lived in Japan where she led a bible study at our international church.  Back in our home countries, we reconnected over Facebook about a year ago.  I came across these words she posted this past Saturday just before Easter and she gave me permission to share them here . . .

I have been thinking about Easter – how it is not really ‘good’ Friday until Sunday – how we won’t really, truly know until we see Him face to face on our resurrection day. Meanwhile we wait and we hope – we live in the in between – we have His promises that we have been born again, that heaven is waiting – that it is glorious, that He is there now preparing a place for us. We are given tasters of joy and peace by His Spirit who lives within us but the tasters are found amidst a life that is often difficult and hard, relentless and tiring. We are asked to trust His Word that He will rise on the third day and that we will rise with Him and we are encouraged to put our trust in that – to believe that He is now – in the time between Friday and Sunday – causing all things to work together for our good, that He is for us and that in the end we really will rise with Him and live for eternity in a place without pain and sorrow and tears.

Hollyhocks

 

But it is all unseen, it is a confident hope, but hope nonetheless. That is what makes it faith – that is what makes it so difficult for those who need to see and touch and taste and feel.

It is still Saturday and the voices along our path cry out on the darkest days ‘really, are you sure – wouldn’t it be easier simply to stop and give in? The voices cause us to ask ‘why me’ and to question His love and His compassion. But we look back and have decided to put our trust in the One who died in our place on Good Friday – we believe that He is God, that He paid our price, that He made it possible for us to walk through Saturday into a glorious Sunday. We have decided to trust and to wait and to hope in the Lord and as we do we hear His soft small voice call out ‘well done beloved child, well done – I am rejoicing over you with singing’.

It will always be Saturday whilst we live on this planet – Saturday with its trouble and trial, it’s pain and its doubt but Sunday is just around the corner – hang in sweet and precious child of God He is waiting to greet you with open arms.

 Wisteria

Post Easter Thoughts

So we’re back in the “In-between;” the “Already and still-not-yet” of this life hanging between the down payment of the bride of Christ and the final appearing and wedding feast of Heaven and Earth together again.  I have no well-pondered thoughts, but I miss posting so I’m sharing some photos from our celebration this year.  I’ve been thinking for a while now that Easter lacks a focused beauty and coziness like we experience at Christmas.  So, I got my sister and mom to go in with me to make a little more of the celebration and this is what we ended up with . . .

Branches Easter Butterflies Table Branches Tomb Easter Cake

I don’t usually pull these kinds of things off because I’m not willing to stress myself out to make things picture-perfect.  And it wasn’t.  The day before I thought I should’ve planned some kind of special breakfast so I got up early the next morning and whipped up a REALLY fast coffee cake recipe and fried some bacon.  How can you go wrong?  Only the table we sat at, with a tablecloth covering the scratches and candles glowing in the middle was tidy and it was delightful.  The rest of the kitchen had clutter and dirty dishes.  And I didn’t sweat, I let it go.

When I was tempted to think “poor me,” for having to get up earlier than everyone else in order for anything beautiful to happen, I thought of the work God has done to give us His abundant beauty and rest.  It is hard work to feed people multiple times a day, keep a house clean when 4/5 of us live in it all day everyday, and just plain being a distract-able person in general.  In the scheme of things it is so small, but I was reminded that nothing is ever free.  Yes, His grace is free to us, but it was not free for Him.  It costed.  And though His grace is free, our lives are not free from the debt of service–not to secure His love, but to carry it out, to incarnate it right here, right now.  So I was tired, but I was joyful as I sought to serve my family in creating beauty that could bring a little of God’s beauty to our senses.

Oreo

And our sweet Oreo died this past week.  She died suddenly and quite traumatically for us and on cue, rain and thunder rolled in as Claire began to dig a grave.  We cried many tears over this 5-pound fuzz ball and felt the groans of creation in a small way, on our own little piece of earth once again.