Holy Saturday is Hard, but Not Hopeless

Aaron J. Anderson
5 min readApr 3, 2021

Where do you turn when God is silent in the darkness?

Easter Sunday is the Day of hope, of bright, new beginnings but we have to pass through Good Friday and Holy Saturday to get there.

Holy Saturday does not get much attention in the life of the Church. Most of us mark Maundy Thursday with communion, Good Friday with a dark liturgy of worship, and Easter Sunday with an explosive celebration.

Holy Saturday is the day that we should acknowledge God’s silence. This day is one in which we sense God’s inaction. Holy Saturday is the day we begin to feel the sting of death and sense the sadness that death has spoken the final word.

Holy Saturday is the day when we are tempted to ask “Where is God?” Sometimes life sends us seasons that are Holy Saturday type seasons.

Holy Saturday feels like abandonment

Our theology tells us that God is always present for us whether times are good or bad. It doesn’t always feel like that though, does it? Sometimes we feel hopelessly abandoned.

My wife Gail, the mother of our six children, underwent spinal surgery in 2013 to remove a tumor that was compressing her spinal cord. This was the second time in a span of six years that she has had this specific surgery. Gail had just given birth to Wesley in January and was devastated that she would have to stop nursing her new little boy.

Her recovery from her first surgery in 2006 was amazing. Within a week she was walking up the stairs of our home.

Gail’s recovery from the second surgery was very different. After spending a few days in ICU at York Hospital she has moved to a long-term rehabilitation hospital. For the longest time, she had very little awareness of her left leg which rendered the most simple tasks like walking or sitting very difficult and likely impossible without rehab. She would end up having to endure a season of radiation to eradicate the likelihood of another tumor returning. The radiation made it painful for her to swallow and therefore uncomfortable to eat. As she was making progress on regaining awareness of her leg, she was rapidly losing weight.