This Is Holy Saturday

This Is Holy Saturday

Today is Holy Saturday.

Like a butterfly in its cocoon, waiting to emerge, Jesus spent Saturday in the grave.
Stone sealed.
Disciples mourning.
The rest of Jerusalem moving on with life, like nothing had happened.

  <img src="https://images.squarespace-cdn.com/content/v1/55c38a57e4b00989028332c9/1555795634846-Z355WV3Y2UKGWFWL2R9A/ke17ZwdGBToddI8pDm48kFj5W396ntPbLSkYjwN2Jdl7gQa3H78H3Y0txjaiv_0fDoOvxcdMmMKkDsyUqMSsMWxHk725yiiHCCLfrh8O1z5QPOohDIaIeljMHgDF5CVlOqpeNLcJ80NK65_fV7S1UUNe3m3u1dYWoTZOsV10loclyfiZD31sczTnjU4lrD-9E8Dhi5lIXKj5XtUVuYW2VQ/12BAE9AC-8A96-49CA-9802-D0713C796071.JPG?format=original" alt=""/>

Like a butterfly, Jesus didn’t stay cocooned by death forever. He emerged victorious.
But that is what we celebrate tomorrow.

Today, is the day in the middle.

The day His followers thought it was all over.
The day of mourning and loss and waiting.

I’ve never thought much about this day, Holy Saturday, until this year. But this year, it resonates with me so deeply. This mourning and waiting. This longing for what we don’t have anymore…or don’t have yet.

But unlike the forgetful disciples, we know the hope of Sunday. And because of that day, because of Easter Sunday, we know the hope of heaven that we have waiting for us.

In many ways, we are in a prolonged Saturday, an extension of this Holy day.

But we mourn not as the disciples did that day. Not as Mary mourned. Not as His followers mourned. Not as those *”who have no hope”.

Rather, we mourn the pains and heartaches of this life, knowing that our tears will be wiped away. Knowing that, as Jesus said, we have the Holy Spirit with us always, which is even better than Jesus on earth with us.

We may live in Saturday, but because of the joy we celebrate tomorrow, on Sunday, we know the hope that is coming.

Today’s poem is about this day.
Holy Saturday
What it must have been like to wake up the day after the crucifixion.

Eyelids flutter open
Everything is hurting
Head throbbing
Throat burning
Eyes searing with the pain of yesterday’s tears
Mingled in that moment
With the first tears of today
The day after
The day after a nightmare
The day after it starts again
The bargaining, calculating
The begging for it all to be a dream
A nightmare
An awful nightmare
But no.
The events of yesterday
Begin to roll through
Flashback followed by horrible flashback
So many questions
Why?
How?
Why?
This hurts so much
These years…
Are they just wasted?
Was I a fool?
But the miracles.
Couldn’t He have done
Just one more?
To save Himself?
Wouldn’t that have been better
For everyone?
Tears tracing their course down cheek and chin
How to face the day
The day after
With so many questions
Unanswered
With so much pain
Unsoothed

Be blessed and Happy Easter

This Is Holy Saturday

This Is Holy Saturday

Today is Holy Saturday.

Like a butterfly in its cocoon, waiting to emerge, Jesus spent Saturday in the grave.
Stone sealed.
Disciples mourning.
The rest of Jerusalem moving on with life, like nothing had happened.

  <img src="https://images.squarespace-cdn.com/content/v1/55c38a57e4b00989028332c9/1555795634846-Z355WV3Y2UKGWFWL2R9A/ke17ZwdGBToddI8pDm48kFj5W396ntPbLSkYjwN2Jdl7gQa3H78H3Y0txjaiv_0fDoOvxcdMmMKkDsyUqMSsMWxHk725yiiHCCLfrh8O1z5QPOohDIaIeljMHgDF5CVlOqpeNLcJ80NK65_fV7S1UUNe3m3u1dYWoTZOsV10loclyfiZD31sczTnjU4lrD-9E8Dhi5lIXKj5XtUVuYW2VQ/12BAE9AC-8A96-49CA-9802-D0713C796071.JPG?format=original" alt=""/>

Like a butterfly, Jesus didn’t stay cocooned by death forever. He emerged victorious.
But that is what we celebrate tomorrow.

Today, is the day in the middle.

The day His followers thought it was all over.
The day of mourning and loss and waiting.

I’ve never thought much about this day, Holy Saturday, until this year. But this year, it resonates with me so deeply. This mourning and waiting. This longing for what we don’t have anymore…or don’t have yet.

But unlike the forgetful disciples, we know the hope of Sunday. And because of that day, because of Easter Sunday, we know the hope of heaven that we have waiting for us.

In many ways, we are in a prolonged Saturday, an extension of this Holy day.

But we mourn not as the disciples did that day. Not as Mary mourned. Not as His followers mourned. Not as those *”who have no hope”.

Rather, we mourn the pains and heartaches of this life, knowing that our tears will be wiped away. Knowing that, as Jesus said, we have the Holy Spirit with us always, which is even better than Jesus on earth with us.

We may live in Saturday, but because of the joy we celebrate tomorrow, on Sunday, we know the hope that is coming.

Today’s poem is about this day.
Holy Saturday
What it must have been like to wake up the day after the crucifixion.

Eyelids flutter open
Everything is hurting
Head throbbing
Throat burning
Eyes searing with the pain of yesterday’s tears
Mingled in that moment
With the first tears of today
The day after
The day after a nightmare
The day after it starts again
The bargaining, calculating
The begging for it all to be a dream
A nightmare
An awful nightmare
But no.
The events of yesterday
Begin to roll through
Flashback followed by horrible flashback
So many questions
Why?
How?
Why?
This hurts so much
These years…
Are they just wasted?
Was I a fool?
But the miracles.
Couldn’t He have done
Just one more?
To save Himself?
Wouldn’t that have been better
For everyone?
Tears tracing their course down cheek and chin
How to face the day
The day after
With so many questions
Unanswered
With so much pain
Unsoothed

Be blessed and Happy Easter

This Is Holy Saturday

This Is Holy Saturday

Today is Holy Saturday.

Like a butterfly in its cocoon, waiting to emerge, Jesus spent Saturday in the grave.
Stone sealed.
Disciples mourning.
The rest of Jerusalem moving on with life, like nothing had happened.

  <img src="https://images.squarespace-cdn.com/content/v1/55c38a57e4b00989028332c9/1555795634846-Z355WV3Y2UKGWFWL2R9A/ke17ZwdGBToddI8pDm48kFj5W396ntPbLSkYjwN2Jdl7gQa3H78H3Y0txjaiv_0fDoOvxcdMmMKkDsyUqMSsMWxHk725yiiHCCLfrh8O1z5QPOohDIaIeljMHgDF5CVlOqpeNLcJ80NK65_fV7S1UUNe3m3u1dYWoTZOsV10loclyfiZD31sczTnjU4lrD-9E8Dhi5lIXKj5XtUVuYW2VQ/12BAE9AC-8A96-49CA-9802-D0713C796071.JPG?format=original" alt=""/>

Like a butterfly, Jesus didn’t stay cocooned by death forever. He emerged victorious.
But that is what we celebrate tomorrow.

Today, is the day in the middle.

The day His followers thought it was all over.
The day of mourning and loss and waiting.

I’ve never thought much about this day, Holy Saturday, until this year. But this year, it resonates with me so deeply. This mourning and waiting. This longing for what we don’t have anymore…or don’t have yet.

But unlike the forgetful disciples, we know the hope of Sunday. And because of that day, because of Easter Sunday, we know the hope of heaven that we have waiting for us.

In many ways, we are in a prolonged Saturday, an extension of this Holy day.

But we mourn not as the disciples did that day. Not as Mary mourned. Not as His followers mourned. Not as those *”who have no hope”.

Rather, we mourn the pains and heartaches of this life, knowing that our tears will be wiped away. Knowing that, as Jesus said, we have the Holy Spirit with us always, which is even better than Jesus on earth with us.

We may live in Saturday, but because of the joy we celebrate tomorrow, on Sunday, we know the hope that is coming.

Today’s poem is about this day.
Holy Saturday
What it must have been like to wake up the day after the crucifixion.

Eyelids flutter open
Everything is hurting
Head throbbing
Throat burning
Eyes searing with the pain of yesterday’s tears
Mingled in that moment
With the first tears of today
The day after
The day after a nightmare
The day after it starts again
The bargaining, calculating
The begging for it all to be a dream
A nightmare
An awful nightmare
But no.
The events of yesterday
Begin to roll through
Flashback followed by horrible flashback
So many questions
Why?
How?
Why?
This hurts so much
These years…
Are they just wasted?
Was I a fool?
But the miracles.
Couldn’t He have done
Just one more?
To save Himself?
Wouldn’t that have been better
For everyone?
Tears tracing their course down cheek and chin
How to face the day
The day after
With so many questions
Unanswered
With so much pain
Unsoothed

Be blessed and Happy Easter

Pretending Before Others; Pretending Before God

When you’ve been let down or ignored or forgotten or taken advantage of…when you’ve been hurt, it’s easy to hide.

  <img src="https://images.squarespace-cdn.com/content/v1/55c38a57e4b00989028332c9/1453829539095-9ZHYFTGG38NU4ZX7QHNS/ke17ZwdGBToddI8pDm48kO7CEwJcHHIJQIL-LYuveh5Zw-zPPgdn4jUwVcJE1ZvWQUxwkmyExglNqGp0IvTJZUJFbgE-7XRK3dMEBRBhUpzWbjI805Tukc9IB5MwWFGexP-6lFD87-NTIy9laRdZcxOGznz0ryHlyga6Tg4YMbA/image.jpg?format=original" alt=""/>

It’s easy to slip into the shadows of fine. It’s easy to quietly let your soul retreating into hiding. It’s easy emotionally step back into a pattern of pretending.

But pretending before others leads to pretending before ourselves and pretending before God.

If we think we are doing okay…
If we think the little things don’t matter…
If we think we can gloss over the messy parts…
If we think it’s fine to avoid certain topics or areas of life…
If we think we need to seem a certain way for the sake of others…

…then we are lying to ourselves.
We are pretending.

And that’s the tricky part about pretending.

We can trick ourselves with our own pretending. 

When I focus on presenting myself just right to you…
When I focus on glossing over certain areas of my life…
When I focus on manipulating facts just a bit in my favor…
When I focus on showing you only the good parts…

…I start to become a pretender in all of my life.

I can’t pretend in front of you and not in front of God. Because I’m a whole person, not a network of little pieces functioning together under some sort of contract. I’m a whole person and all of me is affected by every decision part of me makes.

We are whole people and we can’t pretend in one part of our lives and expect it to stop there. 

If we spend our time curating an specific image of ourselves to present to those around us, we’ll begin to believe our own lies. We’ll trick ourselves into thinking we are doing just fine or that our lives actually look exactly like what we say they do.

If I only show you the disciplined parts of my life, hiding the messy, lazy, disorganized parts, I’ll begin to believe that I am a disciplined person…with no room for growth.

If I only show you the thankful and joyful parts of my life, hiding the worried, anxious, ungrateful parts, I’ll begin to believe that I am a thankful, joyful person…with no room for growth.

If I only show you the strong and faith-filled parts of my life, hiding the fearful, weak, discouraged parts, I’ll begin to believe that I am full of faith and strength…with no room for growth.

When I think that I have no room for growth, when I think that I’m fine, I’m lying to myself.

So many times I’ve found myself feeling shallow and disconnected and joyless and I am unable figure out why because, “Everything is fine.” Until I realize that the “fine” I’m preaching isn’t real. It’s a lie I started telling others and believing myself and hiding behind when I came before God. It’s a self-sufficient, I-don’t-need-you-God kind of “fine” that  isolates me from others, disengages me from God, and starves my soul.

It’s okay to be full of joy, but it’s not okay to pretend we’re that way.

It’s okay to be happy and excited in life, but it’s not okay to pretend we’re that way.

It’s okay to choose thankfulness in all circumstances, but it’s not okay to pretend it’s easy…that it doesn’t require grace and strength from God.

And it’s okay if some struggles are private from others as long as we aren’t pretending we’re fine when we should be asking for prayer.

And it’s okay to not share everything with others as long as we are sharing everything with God.

We don’t want to find ourselves starting down the path of pretending, because…

Pretending before others leads to pretending before ourselves and pretending before God.

  <img src="https://images.squarespace-cdn.com/content/v1/55c38a57e4b00989028332c9/1453829511128-KCHKSLOFICJU8OEO7GLE/ke17ZwdGBToddI8pDm48kO7CEwJcHHIJQIL-LYuveh5Zw-zPPgdn4jUwVcJE1ZvWQUxwkmyExglNqGp0IvTJZUJFbgE-7XRK3dMEBRBhUpzWbjI805Tukc9IB5MwWFGexP-6lFD87-NTIy9laRdZcxOGznz0ryHlyga6Tg4YMbA/image.jpg?format=original" alt=""/>

And I’m preaching to the choir with this post. I hope you see that. Because I see the tendencies in myself every week. I see my heart start to retreat into the shadows of ”fine”. But I know what’s down that path and I don’t want to go there. 

Let’s stop pretending.

Be blessed

Day 13: About the Heart

“But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person.”
Matthew 15:18

  <img src="https://images.squarespace-cdn.com/content/v1/55c38a57e4b00989028332c9/1444869987749-V3VJQB2H1C1QQQV8MA8U/ke17ZwdGBToddI8pDm48kOyctPanBqSdf7WQMpY1FsRZw-zPPgdn4jUwVcJE1ZvWQUxwkmyExglNqGp0IvTJZUJFbgE-7XRK3dMEBRBhUpwwQIrqN0bcqL_6-iJCOAA0qwytzcs0JTq1XS2aqVbyK6GtMIM7F0DGeOwCXa63_4k/image.jpg?format=original" alt=""/>

There are all kinds of things we can do or not do and say or not say to be humble. But those things are useless on their own.

It is easy to fake humility. It’s easy to act ourselves into thinking we’re humble. It’s even easy to get so good at acting humble that we are prideful about our “humility”.

But actions don’t create or determine humility.

The heart determines humility.

  <img src="https://images.squarespace-cdn.com/content/v1/55c38a57e4b00989028332c9/1444870207167-XB0UOTH2OKK75CUVIQ6T/ke17ZwdGBToddI8pDm48kJbosy0LGK_KqcAZRQ_Qph1Zw-zPPgdn4jUwVcJE1ZvWQUxwkmyExglNqGp0IvTJZUJFbgE-7XRK3dMEBRBhUpyRoXPauM_hSH3XAFUMH3fmO1jdMVKkonRM0cGdyUtJRnZ7FnwXS6LE3CJOOwAGcs0/image.jpg?format=original" alt=""/>

And hearts are hard to change. Hearts are tricky and selfish and deceitful.
My heart…
Your heart…
…our hearts are wicked.

““The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?”
Jeremiah‬ ‭17:9‬

So can our wicked hearts, our minds inclined to sin, and our lives tainted by evil, even be capable of humility?

Yes. For we serve a God who changes hearts. That is what He has done all along…

“I will give them a heart to know that I am the Lord, and they shall be my people and I will be their God, for they shall return to me with their whole heart.”
Jeremiah‬ ‭24:7‬

…and that is what He will continue to do in us.

So let’s come to Him asking, seeking tender and humble hearts. He has promised to give to those who ask and to be found by those who seek.

And yes…it takes humility to even ask, to even believe that He is great enough to change our hearts.

Be blessed
<3

Day 13: About the Heart

“But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person.”
Matthew 15:18

  <img src="https://images.squarespace-cdn.com/content/v1/55c38a57e4b00989028332c9/1444869987749-V3VJQB2H1C1QQQV8MA8U/ke17ZwdGBToddI8pDm48kOyctPanBqSdf7WQMpY1FsRZw-zPPgdn4jUwVcJE1ZvWQUxwkmyExglNqGp0IvTJZUJFbgE-7XRK3dMEBRBhUpwwQIrqN0bcqL_6-iJCOAA0qwytzcs0JTq1XS2aqVbyK6GtMIM7F0DGeOwCXa63_4k/image.jpg?format=original" alt=""/>

There are all kinds of things we can do or not do and say or not say to be humble. But those things are useless on their own.

It is easy to fake humility. It’s easy to act ourselves into thinking we’re humble. It’s even easy to get so good at acting humble that we are prideful about our “humility”.

But actions don’t create or determine humility.

The heart determines humility.

  <img src="https://images.squarespace-cdn.com/content/v1/55c38a57e4b00989028332c9/1444870207167-XB0UOTH2OKK75CUVIQ6T/ke17ZwdGBToddI8pDm48kJbosy0LGK_KqcAZRQ_Qph1Zw-zPPgdn4jUwVcJE1ZvWQUxwkmyExglNqGp0IvTJZUJFbgE-7XRK3dMEBRBhUpyRoXPauM_hSH3XAFUMH3fmO1jdMVKkonRM0cGdyUtJRnZ7FnwXS6LE3CJOOwAGcs0/image.jpg?format=original" alt=""/>

And hearts are hard to change. Hearts are tricky and selfish and deceitful.
My heart…
Your heart…
…our hearts are wicked.

““The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?”
Jeremiah‬ ‭17:9‬

So can our wicked hearts, our minds inclined to sin, and our lives tainted by evil, even be capable of humility?

Yes. For we serve a God who changes hearts. That is what He has done all along…

“I will give them a heart to know that I am the Lord, and they shall be my people and I will be their God, for they shall return to me with their whole heart.”
Jeremiah‬ ‭24:7‬

…and that is what He will continue to do in us.

So let’s come to Him asking, seeking tender and humble hearts. He has promised to give to those who ask and to be found by those who seek.

And yes…it takes humility to even ask, to even believe that He is great enough to change our hearts.

Be blessed
<3

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