Sunday, May 29, 2011

The here, the now, and the in-between

So often, we (myself included!) talk about how we just can't wait for this or that to be over so we can move on in life. It could be that summer before college, a pregnancy before the arrival of the baby, the waiting time before an adoption, the month before a big move. In any case, we are waiting for an uncomfortable, stretching period of our lives to be over so we can start that exciting, long-awaited next phase. I often think of those seasons as "in-betweens." I tend to fall into the attitude that these periods of life are less important, less influential. The real lessons I'm going to learn are going to be once I graduate, finish this adoption, have the baby, go to college, get married, move to our new house, etc. You fill in the blank.

I'd like to propose that there are no "in-betweens" in life. The Lord is a God of perfection, of completion, of wholeness. How then could He put us in an in-between season of life? Each and every day is a demonstration of His grace and His mercy. Each and every day is an opportunity to live out our call as Christians- to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with our God (Micah 6:8).

"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven....He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end." Ecclesiastes 3:1,11

This does not mean that every day will be full of "exciting" things. But there will never be a day wasted. It is only in our discontent and impatience that we waste time thinking about where we'd rather be. Dwelling on the future zaps all joy and purpose from today.

I've been in Spain for 12 days now, and I'll be the first to admit that while I have loved the experience, I really want to be home. I miss people. I miss feeling secure. I miss a lot of things. Even before I left, I kind of went into this trip thinking of it as an "in-between." It's 6 weeks in between a fantastic semester of college and a month at home with my family before going back to college in the fall.

And it still is 6 weeks in between my summer. But it’s 6 weeks of walking each day in the Lord’s strength, completely dependent on Him. It’s 6 weeks of learning Spanish, in preparation for some type of ministry in my future. It’s 6 weeks of being the hands and feet of Christ to a home, a city, a country who has absolutely everything yet hearts that have nothing. It’s 6 weeks of watching the Lord mold, grow, and shape me. He had to take me across the ocean to get me to let go and let Him work. These 6 weeks are not in-between. They’re a season all their own with struggle and triumphs. Lots of smiling with a fair share of tears mixed in. Lots of learning and growing. Lots of chances to apologize and accept forgiveness. Lots of chances to seek out God and His will for me, for Spain, for His kingdom come.

My days are beginning now with a whispered prayer of thanks, and a request for grace and strength to live to the fullest. When I long for home and familiarity, I think of James 1:2-3, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” I long more for a heart so in love with Jesus that I can rest in His will, knowing that He has placed me exactly where I should be- with purpose, with love, and for the furthering of His kingdom.

If you are in the in-between, look to His face. In the midst of fear, doubt, loneliness, or pain, rest in His sovereignty. Find joy in the day. Look for simple things, sweet kisses from Heaven that remind you of grace abounding. Sit back and watch the Lord move even as you wait for what seems like a better phase of life. Look for opportunities to love.

We serve a faithful God who longs to show Himself to us. In the here, the now, and even the in-betweens.


byhislife10 said...

This was wonderful, encouraging, and challenging for me to read before I leave tomorrow. Thanks Mols!! :)

Audrey said...

praise God. so true.