“Treasures of Darkness” illustration by Gary Gaede

Advent Day 3 – Tuesday, December 4

It is the second day.

Just imagine for a minute that the source of your hope, direction, and purpose of the last few years has seemed to disappear in the matter of hours. You find yourself in a state of confusion, going back and forth from feeling everything to feeling nothing. You have a million questions but no answers in sight. In your mind, you replay the horrors of the last hours as you wrestle with your own fear, shame, and regret. Could it be that all of this happened in a matter of hours, when the hope and the promises you had feel as if they were from a lifetime ago? You find yourself among others who are in the same situation, who over the last few years have served as friends and companions, yet you feel completely alone. You are stuck in the waiting.

On a less intense level, the feelings of waiting experienced by the disciples in the upper room on the second day can be found in our own lives as well. We find ourselves waiting in anticipation in a line for a roller coaster. We find ourselves waiting in fear and anxiety in a doctor’s office waiting room. In my own life lately I have found myself to be in a waiting period. Recently I graduated with my undergraduate degree and will begin my graduate studies in the fall. As much as this time has been filled with hope and anticipation, this time has been filled with many unknowns as the path ahead is not completely clear. I have found myself going through the same cycle of emotions and questions as the disciples during their period of waiting. During this period of waiting it would have been difficult for the disciples—and us for that matter—to see how God’s power was at work.

Yet, while the disciples were waiting in the upper room, God’s power was at its finest. The power of death and sin were being defeated. The victory of the resurrection was on the horizon. Even for us who know the hope found in the events of the third day, the promises can seem far off in the midst of our periods of waiting. Yet above every hardship and lie, the truth remains. The truth remains of God’s power, promises, grace and love that remain constant regardless of our circumstances. The truth remains that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. In my own period of waiting I have seen God answering my prayers—my prayers to be wiser, my prayers to be more trusting, my prayers to be more patient, and my prayers to more deeply know him.

Perhaps it is in the seasons of waiting that the glorious and beautiful power of God is at work more than ever.

—Leah Bernard