Audio of this post can be found in the Good Friday episode of CXMH.
Good Friday is a time of darkness, a time of tension and unknowing. The disciples had followed a man named Jesus for years, and now had seen Him crucified and murdered. They were stuck between hopelessness and waiting, waiting to see if anything would happen, if all their faith had been for nothing.
For us, much of our life exists in the tension and unknowing. Much of our life exists in the waiting.
Waiting to hear back from a doctor.
Waiting to see if the latest medication works.
Waiting to see if that someone will come back, or change for the better.
Waiting to see if we can change for the better.
In these times of tension, of unknowing, of waiting, it often feels like all is lost. Much like the disciples, we can feel like our faith was worthless, that we've been wasting our time, that we're stuck in an upper room with the world against us.
It's in this place that we find examples in Job, in David's laments, in Jesus Himself in the garden.
We cry out to God: 'take this from me, fix this for me, do something, do anything.'
But I find hope in the fact that there are so many lamenting, so many crying out to God, so many wishing, hoping, praying for something better.
At the end of Job's story, we see God give no answers, but a response: I am here. I am with you.
We see God commend Job for speaking truthfully, while his friends get reprimanded for trying to make up logical reasons, for trying to explain away Job's pain.
In David, we see entire chapters of laments, of pleading with God for something better, of crying out in pain. And again, we see him commended by God for this, referred to as 'a man after God's own heart.'
We see that in our times of pain and unknowing and waiting, in times of tension and darkness and suffering, we see a God that doesn't want us to put on a happy face and demand that things are all fine. We see a God that meets us in our pain, in our suffering, in the tension.
We see a Savior who is willing to step into that pain and suffer with us, a God whose character is simply Love.
This Good Friday, we can recognize the hope and victory that comes with Easter without rushing past the pain, without glossing over the suffering and the tension. We cry out with Job, with David, with Jesus Himself.
We echo the man in Mark who appeals directly to Jesus: "I do believe," he cries in desperation. "Help my unbelief!"
Father, we ask you to help our unbelief: to help us to lean into you with our questions, with our tension, with our pain. Show us, as You always have, that You meet us there.