Liminal Space: The Overlooked Day in Easter

Easter Sunday changed history forever, and it’s the day Christians celebrate with the most fervor–and with good reason. But can I be honest? Lately my life has felt more like Silent Saturday (that’s what I call it), the day between the crucifixion and the resurrection.

What is liminal space?

It religious circles, it’s sometimes called liminal space. It comes from the Latin word limen, which means “threshold.” It’s time between the ‘what was’ and the ‘next.’ The time between the promise given and the promise kept. Some call it living in the now and the not yet or God’s waiting room. Whatever you name it, that’s where I’m living.

In January of this year, I knew God was telling me to quit my job. I was certain of it. My plan was to pursue freelance writing again and to offer spiritual direction as well.

It’s April. Freelance writing has been minimal and so has my spiritual direction practice. Doors I thought were opening have slammed shut. Places where I’d picked up work before have dried up like the Sahara desert. This is NOT how I thought things would turn out. I’m living in between what I know God asked me to do and the fulfillment of that obedience. I’m standing in the threshold, between the then and now, wondering what God is doing and trying very patiently (?) to be still and wait.

In my mind, I picture the disciples experiencing the same emotions and questions the day after the crucifixion. We know the end of the story but they didn’t. They had followed the Messiah. They’d heard the call and left their comfortable familiarity to pursue the One who would deliver them and the rest of Israel. But on that Saturday, they hadn’t seen the fulfillment of that promise. Quite the opposite. They’d seen everything fall apart.

On that uncomfortable Saturday, after Jesus’ death and before His resurrection, followers of Jesus were left with more questions than answers. Had they heard Jesus correctly? What if this whole deliverance thing was a cruel joke? What happened to the guy who could raise people from the dead and send demons into pigs? Where was he now? They’d seen too much and experienced too much to go back to their old lives, but had no idea what they were supposed to do next.

Can you relate? God calls you to a new church but you don’t feel at home there. God asks you to give sacrificially to a cause, but the money you need isn’t pouring in. You know God’s plan is for you to have a future and a hope (Jer. 29:11), but you haven’t seen either come through.

What do you do in liminal space?

So what do you do while you’re in liminal space, between the now and the not yet, in the threshold of what’s next? In some respects, you do nothing. That’s the whole point. You wait for what God opens up.

At the same time, you’re not doing nothing. You surrender your expectations. You hold tightly to the promises of God but hold loosely your ideas of how that promise will be fulfilled. You choose to trust, over and over again, a thousand times a day if necessary. You refuse to give into cynicism, doubt, and fear, the demons that will drag you down into the pit of despair if you give them space in your heart.

You remember you’re not the only one who’s been where you are. The disciples lived through that Silent Saturday. So have your personal heroes of the faith.

You recall the goodness of God in your past and allow that to fuel your faith in your present.

God is good. God is faithful. Your story will end well, even if you can’t see the fulfillment yet.

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