We have done everything we can do. Those words rarely bring comfort. A gap exists between our action and a response. It happens after making the phone call or sending the text holding our breath for confirmation. It happens when we keep looking for the messenger of a decision or diagnosis. After you have done everything you can do, you then hear the words, now all we can do is wait.
I have thought of Good Friday regarding our waiting like the disciples for Easter. In this thinking, we can imagine ourselves having an eye witness account to Jesus’ suffering with a host of emotions; the guilt of failing Him, the seemingly disappointment of an ended kingdom movement, the grief of losing a friend. Will the resurrection ever come?
Perhaps, the most powerful example of waiting within Good Friday comes from Jesus. The scene that best describes His example comes from the Garden of Gethsemane. His prayer to the Father displays the authentic reality of pain, but also the acceptance of God’s plan. David Garland reflects on this scene in his commentary on Mark:
He (Jesus) had already handed himself over to death when he acted and taught as he did in the temple. He had brought his proclamation of God’s reign to the seat of human power. Now he must change from the one who acts to the one who waits and is acted upon. This change is one of the hardest things to accept in life – to become passive after a life of active involvement, to be at the mercy of others. Mark’s readers need not shy away from crying to God to be spared form their own cross that they must bear, but they can learn from Jesus to accept God’s plan through prayer.
Good Friday reminds us of God’s timetable and at times learning to accept the places and situations He has us. In the waiting, we come to a deeper awareness of Christ’s presence.
Jesus’ grace not only saves us but sustains us in suffering and pain.
The pain and suffering of Good Friday becomes the hope of the Resurrection, but Jesus offers us grace on Friday and Saturday. He too has lived through the waiting.
Jesus, our mediator in prayer, identifies and sympathizes with us in these moments. It’s within the gap between action and passivity that we learn dependence on Christ and come to the realization that we do not captain our own ship. In some situations, God calls us like Jesus to accept the plan He has for us trusting Him to lead us through.
Today, let’s learn to wait on Good Friday rather than rushing to the Easter Resurrection. In our waiting, we can learn to recognize Christ’s presence and experience a deeper awareness of His grace.
Photo credit by Pablo GarciaSaldaña.