Monday, February 23, 2009

The In-Betweens

Have you ever been "between?" Between jobs? Between houses? Between destinations? Have you had those times in life when you know you aren't staying where you are but you haven't yet arrived where you are going? When you have moved far enough down the road of life that you can no longer see your point of origin, but your destination is still beyond the horizon?

Yes, I'm talking about me. Again. But I also know I am not alone in this experience.

Even in the Bible there are numerous examples of people who received a call from God, and then had to wait for that call to be fulfilled. The disciples were promised that they would receive the Holy Spirit, but they had to wait ten days after the Ascension before the Holy Spirit showed up. Then there was David, who was anointed King of Israel in his youth, but spent years running for his life before God actually placed him on the throne.

I wonder why God likes lag-time. Why does He lay out the plan and then wait to bring it to pass? I am beginning to think that the in-between time is not so much an in-between as much as it is a destination of its own: A pause with a purpose. A gap with a goal. A respite with a reason.

I heard a sermon last summer about God being the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last. The pastor talked about how easy it is to see God at the beginning of a call, and how we always see Him in the end result, but that there are often times when we are at step 4, or 5, or 6, or 34, or 67, or 324 and we wonder where God is. I could relate to this message.

For me, it in the depths of the in-between time that the enemy comes to me and whispers his favorite lie, "Did God really say...?" Yes, the same old lie that he used on Eve, he uses with me.

"Did God really say you should be a missionary?"

"Did God really say you should move to France?"

"Did God really say you should sell your house?"

And there I sit, somewhere in between the call of God and the fulfillment of His promise, trying to remember what God did REALLY say. I need truth--the only antidote to the poison of the enemy's lies. And I need to stay constantly connected to the one who gave the call in the first place. He is not far off. He does not sleep. He has not forgotten me. He promises to be with me ALWAYS--that means the beginning, the middle, and the end.

The road is long, and actually, all of life is an in-between. When we finally move to France it will just be the beginning of another adventure with God. There are no destinations. Which is why I want to learn to appreciate the joy in the journey.

Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful. I Corinthians 1:7-9

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