When John the Baptist was in prison dark doubts began to plague his mind. Is Jesus the one? He doesn’t seem to be taking charge and making things happen. What if he’s not the one? What if I have not prepared the way as I should have done? What if I’ve prepared the wrong road for the wrong person?
On that first Easter Saturday the disciples must have felt the same. What went wrong? Was this whole thing a failure? Did we follow the wrong person? What now? Is love not the way after all? Does love have no chance in this world? What do we do with all his teaching, with his new way of relating to God, with his “Blessed are the poor in spirit”? He taught us to call God ‘Father’; what do we call him now?
Familiar? Dark moments in our lives give rise to these questions. But we are not alone. Sometimes God seems far away and out of touch, even to the saints among us. The Psalmist cried out: “LORD God, my saviour…hear my prayer; listen to my cry for help! So many troubles have fallen on me that I am close to death…. You have thrown me into the depths of the tomb, into the darkest and deepest pit…. Why do you reject me, LORD? Why do you turn away from me?” (Psalm 88 GNB)
Tell God today about your darkest thoughts, your deepest pain, your most anxious questions. You may find no answers for now, but take heart. The Psalmist discovered that “weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5).
There is a morning that is coming that is the most glorious, the most wonderful, the most life-changing morning of all. It’s not here yet. But know, in the midst of your questions and doubts and tragedies, it is coming.
Lord, sustain us and those we love, in the dark night of fear and loneliness and defeat. Give us hope for the morning that is to come.
(The Lent Diary is a devotional project of Prestbury Methodist Church started by my mother, Norma Webster, 21 years ago and still edited by her. This year 40 different people contributed devotions for the 40 days of lent and the seven days of Holy Week. This was my contribution for Easter Saturday 2011, what I have always thought of as the darkest day of the Christian year.)
- The Day Between (bartlescrivener.wordpress.com)
- Easter Saturday 2010 (wonderingpreacher.wordpress.com)