This past weekend, we celebrated Easter and the Resurrection of Jesus. I took some time on Sunday morning to sit on the sofa, have a cup of coffee with Jesus, and reflect on why we celebrate. The story has many facets: suffering, death, grief, and unspeakable joy at His resurrection. There is hope in knowing that He is alive and will return. But in my reflections this Easter, one thing stood out to me the most: How we deal with those seasons of waiting.
Recap: The Easter Story
Are you familiar with the Easter story? If you’ve never heard the story before or want to refresh your memory, you can read about it in Luke 22 – 24. Jesus was betrayed by one of His disciples and was arrested. He was sent to trial, beaten, and forced to carry a cross on which He was crucified. His followers were crushed as they watched the man they believed to be the Messiah, their King and Redeemer, die. But three days later, the tomb was empty! Jesus resurrected from the dead and spent 40 days with His disciples before ascending to heaven.
It is a beautiful story of how Jesus gave the ultimate sacrifice and died so that we can have a relationship with God. But He didn’t remain in the grave – He defeated death and rose back to life. Whoever accepts Him into their hearts can be assured they will spend eternity with Him. I can think of no greater joy!
One of the things that stood out most to me when reading the Easter story this year was how the disciples waited. I can’t imagine how Jesus’ followers felt, having just experienced the trauma of watching their Messiah crucified. Sitting, waiting, wondering what would come next.
The waiting must have been so difficult. They must have wanted to do something. But what was there to do but grieve and trust God?
But with the arrival of the Sabbath, there was only one thing they could do: Rest. And it made me wonder if God doesn’t ask us to rest in the waiting.
Rest In the Waiting
God has three answers to prayers: Yes, no, and wait. Of the three, I often find that wait is the most difficult. I can be impatient and stubborn, determined to push through and make things happen. But what happens when God’s best for us is accomplished by waiting?
It can be so tempting to push ahead anyway and forget that while we only see a piece of the puzzle, He sees the whole design. And when we do something outside the right timing, we can jam our puzzle piece into the wrong spot and make a mess of the picture.
I think it’s essential to look at what the disciples did while they waited. They rested. That sounds counter-intuitive, doesn’t it? Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still and know that I am God.”
Be still. That sure is hard for someone like me who always feels like she needs to be doing something and crossing things off her to-do list.
What does rest look like in those times of waiting? It may look different for each individual. It could be like setting that pet project aside and working on something new and fresh for a while. Perhaps it’s taking a step back or creating new, healthy boundaries. Whatever that looks like for you, if you’re in a season of waiting, remember that Jesus offers rest.
He says in Matthew 11:28: “Come to me all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
You Are Not Alone in the Waiting
Returning to the Easter story, we learn that a few of Jesus’ followers meet him on the road to Emmaus. His followers didn’t recognize Him, nor did He reveal who He was to them. Instead, He walked with them. He let Cleopas tell Him about the Messiah they had lost and allowed him to share his grief and doubts. Jesus sat down to dinner with His followers and was present with them, just like He is present with us in our seasons of sorrow and waiting.
Finding Joy in the Waiting
So when you and I are in that season of waiting, how do we find rest and joy?
1. Trust that God is in control and has plans to prosper and protect you.
2. Have hope that something amazing is coming. Even if you’re in a difficult season or are grieving as you wait, know that God can bring the most incredible plot twists your way.
3. Give yourself time to grieve. Whether you are grieving the loss of a loved one, something turning out differently than you expected, or the loss of a dream, whatever it may be, give yourself the time to grieve. Processing your emotions in healthy ways can bring you rest and help heal your heart.
4. Lean on your support system. Find trusted family and friends you can talk to, ask for a hug, or with whom you can go to lunch.
5. Be gentle with yourself. No matter how you speculate, you won’t have all the answers or know what is coming next. Give yourself the grace to live with expectancy instead of expectations.
6. Is there a course correction you need to make? Or something that God is asking you to step into during the waiting? Give those things serious consideration as you rest and wait.
Remember, “The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him” (Lamentations 3:25). Remember to rest in those seasons of waiting, for His timing is perfect and will bring you the greatest peace.
© 2023 Lainey La Shay