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I just listened to a message by John Ortberg entitled "Who Is This Man?".  It's about the three-day story from Good Friday to Easter.  Ortberg characterized Saturday as the "day of silence" - of the three; it's the day that no one studies and no one knows much about.

This made me think a bit about the analogy to prayer, especially the prayer that arises from pain or crisis.  In practice, these prayers are rarely answered instantaneously. There's always a wait of some kind - a "day between" the prayer and the answer.  Sometimes it's a short "day" - sometimes the "day" lasts for years, or even a lifetime. Sometimes, in fact, we don't see the answer this side of heaven.

It strikes me that, if our prayer lives were compared to the three-day Easter story, we spend much more of our time in Saturdays than we do in Fridays or Sundays. Whether we wait for the answer to a prayer about healing or for the answer to a prayer about the gospel going to the nations - we wait. We have no choice but to wait, because the answer is not in our control.

But we do have a choice how we wait. Do we wait in despair and hopelessness, as the early disciples did? We skip over Saturday so quickly when we read the Easter story, but think for a minute about what they must have been going through. We can hardly fault them for losing hope - they hadn't read the end of the story like we have. Sure, they had Jesus' predictions about rising from the dead, but the actual event was so far beyond their experience that they didn't understand the predictions.

Or do we wait in eager anticipation, not knowing exactly how God will answer, only knowing that he will? Do we allow the evidence of history - the evidence of God's faithfulness - to bolster our own faith so that our waiting, far from being torture, is more like the anticipation that comes before Christmas?

If I'm honest, most of my waiting is somewhere between these two extremes. Not total despair, because I can quietly trust that God will answer - but also not the eager anticipation of someone who just KNOWS that that answer will be "immeasurably more than all I ask or imagine". God has some work to do on me yet, to make the most of my Saturdays. How about you?

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