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Redefining the Silence

Richard Villanueva April 12, 2017 General


That’s one word that describes well a specific Saturday morning, some 2,000 years ago. What does it feel like the day after your entire world falls apart? Or the morning that follows the most emotionally confusing moments of life? Added to this pressure is what can seem like a shattering silence from Heaven. We can think, “Surely God knows what happened! Why isn’t He saying anything? Doesn’t He already know my prayers?”

Behind The Scenes

It’s at these moments we have to realize that God’s silence does not equal God’s inactivity.  Think about it: It’s one of the ways you know you’re eating a good meal – no one is talking, they’re too busy eating.  It’s how you know the movie is at a good part – the audience is leaning in towards the screen, intently waiting for the climax.  It’s how you know someone is focusing in on their work – their eyes are sharply tuned in to the job and their hands are busy completing the task.  “No time for talk, I’m busy.”

The disciples had just experienced the most intense day of their life, seeing three hard years of work, effort, and faith get nailed to a cross and then finally, placed in a dark tomb, sealed and guarded by the Roman military.  All this after what seemed like a huge holiday week of progress in the Temple with Jesus.  And it all changed that Friday.  I can only imagine how one of Jesus’ closest friends, Peter, felt after a night of tossing and turning.  Replaying the scene of him denying Jesus in the city over and over.  Or maybe the disciple John, who had closely followed the action, hiding in the distance.  Did he wish he had just a bit more courage to stand up to the guards, like Peter tried with his sword in the garden?  Saturday didn’t bring any new answers.

Silence has a tendency to make some people listen harder and pay attention.  When we are in a time of transition, change, awkwardness or disappointment, we would be wise to be one of those people that lean in.  The Saturday between Good Friday (the Crucifixion) and Sunday (The Ressurection, or Easter) was a time of faith and intent leaning in.  God’s silence that day did not tell His people “we’ve lost”, or “I don’t care.”  Rather, I believe He was telling us, “Wait till you see what’s next.”  The women disciples had a good mind about them, since they spent that Saturday preparing for an early visit to the tomb on Sunday morning.  They may not have known what God was up to, but they did know that it was not a time to turn away, but lean in and get close.  They prepared to see Jesus and anoint His body with sweet smelling balms – a way of honoring Him even in death.  Little did they know what they were in for.  It’s safe to say these ladies got more than they asked for!  It was their refusal to turn back or abandon faith that allowed them to be the first to see the greatest miracle since God spoke light into existence.

A New Expectation

Life is filled with what seems like silence from Heaven.  It is our “Saturday before Easter Moments” in life.  It’s at those times we have to remember that God does not only communicate with us in up front ways, but that some of the most miraculous moments in our lives are times where God is busy working behind the scenes, intently moving situations together to bring life to dry and parched areas of our lives.  God’s silence is never final.

That’s probably the best part about those type of “Saturdays.”  It’s that Sunday morning is just a few hours away.

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