Imagine a piece of lined paper: it has a large space at the top, followed by lines, with spaces in between. The paper I was looking at was in one section crimpled, the result of having soda that had spilled on the paper. The lines are used for the arrangement of words that may formulate thoughts. This paper had some thoughts on it of what I was to write about, though they were incomplete. The one that seemed to jump off the page was the phrase ‘in the fight’, as that was the way I felt.
Have you ever felt that you are so close to a breakthrough while at the same time so far from it? That describes the type of tug of war I have been experiencing lately: feeling down and fighting that feeling, coupled with trying to be patient about some things, wanting to wait for God’s answer, but at the same time wanting to make a decision to get it over with. At the same knowing that is not the answer which brings me back to being in wait mode, and on and on it goes. This is what I define as fighting the in-between.
The in-between is full of incompleteness, a holding pattern that awaits answers. Will I be happy with the finality of the answer when it comes, or will it have me in the space where frustration is alive and well, waiting to attach itself to my mind? there are many in the bible who experienced this:
- Relational in-between. Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers, wrongly accused by the wife of his boss, interpreted dreams of others who said they would not forget him regarding getting him out of jail, but forgot anyway. But the bible says that the Lord was with Joseph (Genesis 39) and prospered him in all that he did. Regardless whatever in-between spaces Joseph found himself in, he always sought the Lord, who rewarded him with success and prosperity where ever he went, which included him reconciling with his brothers.
- Emotional in-between: David knows about being in-between, as while he wrote praises in this book, he also many a time wrote thoughts of asking where God was, and why was he allowing the enemy to win and prosper. But towards the end of a particular Psalm (like Psalm 13, for example), David speaks of trust in God’s mercy, which causes his heart to rejoice.
- Physical in-between: Paul asks God to take away the thorn in his flesh (asked three times) to no avail. Instead, God responds by saying that His grace is sufficient for thee. Paul then writes whatever infirmity he has to glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
So how would you describe your in-between? May I suggest the following:
Psalm 31:24: Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord.
II Chronicles 20: 17a: Ye shall not need to fight in this battle, set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the Lord with you,…
Isaiah 26:3: Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee, because he trusteth in thee.
As the in-between invites us to be in the fight, all we have to do is ask God to do the fighting…
Be strengthenized my friend…