Written By: Cathie Ostapchuk
If you’re like me, you love to know that things have a beginning and an ending. I love that Lent is a clear and measured 40-day journey that allows me to mark the days from Ash Wednesday right to a glorious Easter Sunday.
I arrive at the cross on Good Friday and embrace the great exchange: His life for mine, His innocence for my shame, His righteousness that covers my nakedness and vulnerability. I weep and rejoice at the same time because I know He has, is and always will be the Only Way to a life free from guilt and condemnation, and focused on eternity. Calvary, and His blood shed for me, truly covers it all.
“Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe.
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow.”
(Elvina M. Hall)
But then I wake up today, Saturday, the day in the middle of Good Friday and Easter Sunday and find I have forgotten, in a few short hours, the promises made to me in the shadow of the cross. I sense that my heart has waited hard and long for the promises of Resurrection and even though I know it’s coming, I can’t see it in my circumstances and I begin to doubt…and even lose faith. Challenges of life have been railing at me and ravaging my soul for so long that I have forgotten what ‘normal’ is.
Where do you find yourself today? Are you in the middle between the Cross and the Resurrection? Are you in the middle between the promise given and the promise coming? Are you feeling like nothing has really changed?
It’s in the middle, between Good Friday and Easter Sunday, that all of my doubts resurface. I forget that He actually will come again to gather me up in His eternal presence, that the Holy Spirit is a light and guide on my daily path, and that His resurrection power is accessible in my every day moments. I am caught between two realities: the ‘already’ and the ‘not yet’. And my faith is stretched to believe in a future that I can’t even imagine. Because it is still dark and the Son hasn’t risen over my world.
Friends, it’s in the middle that we are encouraged, through the lives of those who came before to ‘hope against all hope’ like Abraham, and Sarah (Romans 4), whose bodies were considered dead and unfruitful and were past their time of flourishing. When all hope was gone, and only when all hope was gone, they were promised a Son, literally and figuratively, rising in their future. A sky filled with stars was the picture of how vast their legacy of descendants would be. It was in the middle, in the dark, when they couldn’t wrap their heads around the promise, that their hope stood tall and strong like flint against the doubt of ‘how will this ever be?’
The middle is the hinge of our hope that defines whether we will shrink back in fear and doubt, or rise strong and set our faces to the promise of the future. The middle is when our backs are up against the wall and we choose with all we have to hope against all hope that Sunday is coming.
If you are finding yourself in the middle, today, friend, this is exactly where your hope will find its’ place to rise. This is exactly the place and time where you choose faith over fear.
The middle is a sacred tomb of transformation. It is a chrysalis that we enter to be shrouded and covered in the dark, so the process of metamorphosis can do its’ work. We will emerge from the chrysalis, from the dark middle, and find ourselves changed and with freedom to fly. God does His best work in the dark.
When you find yourself in the middle, you find yourself in a liminal place, a point of jumping off, a threshold to what will be, when the promise made becomes the promise realized.
Don’t lose hope in the middle. Take hold of your hope and plant it firmly and watch it rise and become a banner to others to choose faith over any fear that keeps them in the dark. Someday soon your chains will be broken. You are not only looking ahead to Christ’s resurrection, but your own. You will rise with Christ one day and no dark and doubtful middle can ever change that fact.
Christ is risen from the dead
We are one with Him again
Come awake, come awake
Come and rise up from the grave
Choose to lean into and believe with all you have, the words of 1 Corinthians 15:51
“Let me reveal to you a wonderful secret.
We will not all die, but we will all be transformed!”
When you find yourself in the middle,
fix your eyes on your magnificent future.
He has emerged gloriously from the tomb victorious. And so will you. Believe it.