I remember sitting in the hospital waiting room, ignoring my very full bladder because my eyes were fixed on the screen. The words next to my husband’s ID number said in surgery, but any second it could change to in recovery. That would be the moment I could breathe.
I knew he had heart issues when we got married 5 years earlier, but I never thought we would be here this soon. Heart surgery usually happened farther down the line when the kids were grown and having tiny humans of their own. But he needed this. He couldn’t wrestle with his boys or carry them in his arms without feeling faint. He couldn’t mow the lawn or take out the trash because he didn’t have the strength. Trials and tests and tears led us to the unwanted breaking point, and we finally decided to take the risk and just do it.
So here we were. We had arrived at the sacred middle ground. This place where pain from the past intersected with faith for the future. Doctors told us the success probability was high. All we had to do was wait and see, a skill that has never been my forte.
Let me say in full confidence, waiting is not for the weak. It takes strength and courage to still our hearts and trust Jesus for the days to come. And most days I wish I could be a little braver. But here’s the thing, my friend:
You are truly in such good company.
If you are a living person, you will unavoidably find yourself in the middle at some point on your journey. And at that moment you can stand and look around and know that you are not alone in your struggle to find peace in the midst of the anticipation.
There were three days between the death and resurrection of Jesus. Three days for His disciples to mourn and wait and wonder about their future (even with Jesus’ clear blueprint of upcoming victory!). Their best friend and loyal Lord had died, and I am certain the absence of His light made the darkness even darker. But — and I love how there’s always a but with God —
Our middles are just as important as our beginnings and ends.
Sometimes we wish we could bypass the middle and fast-forward to the final chapter where our prayers are answered and our desires fulfilled. But we have such a kind God, and He doesn’t waste a single second in our life. He doesn’t push the pause button when we feel like life stops moving. He is always working for the good of those who love Him, and that includes you.
For the disciples, what appeared to be defeat was actually the greatest victory ever known to man. A sorrowful end was actually a new beginning. And Jesus’ followers may not have understood, but those three days of waiting were needed. More transformation was done in 72 hours than any other time in history. Death lost its sting, sin no longer had a hold, and our relationship to God was wonderfully restored. Love turned over the grave and on that Easter morning when the tombstone was rolled away, our Savior revealed to the world the purpose of our hard middles.
Waiting is the breeding ground for hope. The Bible says:
For in this hope we were saved; but hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he can already see? But if we hope for what we do not yet see, we wait for it patiently.
Sweet friend, you cannot reach the end without first experiencing the middle. It’s the heart of our story, and it teaches us to live in confident expectation of God’s goodness and grace. He promises us beauty and victory and a steadfast love to see us through.
Right now I can hear my husband wrestling with our boys in the other room, so this thankful wife can attest. You may have to wait a little longer than three days, but stay hopeful. Your day of resurrection is coming.