I’ve shared here that my family is in the middle of many possible transitions. Big life changes with lots of uncertainties. Challenging stuff.
Someone asked my husband and I what God has been speaking to us during this time.
My husband spoke of God’s comfort, nearness, and reassurance.
All I’m receiving is correction.
I feel a bit like Paul right now. In the midst of some amazing things, he was kept humble by a thorn in his side. The things God is showing me are humbling, to say the least.
I’m responding better to the correction than when I first wrote this blog post about responding to God’s discipline. I’ll be honest, though, and say I’m still hoping for some direction eventually and not just correction.
I’m living in “the meantime.”
The space between where we were and where we want to be, between God’s initial promises and direction and their fruition. The time of earnest waiting. When we try to push our doubts and fears aside.
This is the meantime.
How Do We Live in the Meantime?
1. Remain open.
A Sara Groves’ lyric inspired parts of this post.
I will open my hands, will open my heart
I will open my hands, will open my heart
I am nodding my head an emphatic “yes”
To all that You have for me
In the meantime, we need to remain open. Am I really in a posture that I can nod my head with an emphatic “yes,” no matter what God asks of me?
We can remain open, open-hearted, and open-handed, so when God’s direction does come, we are ready.
2. Move forward with the direction you have.
“By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.” Hebrews 11:8 (NIV1984)
I’ll confess that I have really struggled during this time with how to proceed. I’ve taken on an additional job, and I’m just plain tired. A few weeks back, I began questioning everything. Am I really called to be a writer/speaker? This book that I’ve been working on forever, is it even any good? Is it necessary? How do I know God called me?
I went back to my journals, to prayer, to God’s Word. Nothing had changed. I was just tired and feeling weary.
The meantime is like that. Abraham wasn’t given the whole picture of what God had for him, but he had enough information to continue forward based on the information and vision God had given him.
Move forward with the direction you have, with the passion God has given you, and the vision He has instilled in you.
3. Don’t compromise.
Character is vitally important in the meantime. Integrity is imperative. Who you are in the meantime is a direct reflection of the state of your heart and the solidity of your character.
When we can’t see God working, how will we respond? We get the urge to strive, to take things into our own hands (above & beyond the direction God has given us), to stop resting and trusting.
Sarah & Abraham had this struggle (then called Sarai & Abram, before God changed their names). They didn’t believe God was working quickly enough to fulfill His promise that they would have a child. So Abram slept with Sarai’s servant so that they would have the child God promised. He compromised his values when he couldn’t see what God was doing in the meantime.
“Many are the plans in the mind of a man,
but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.” Proverbs 19:21 (ESV)
We need to continue to grow in character and integrity of faith in the meantime and not compromise our values.
4. Keep your eyes on God.
Though it’d be quite easy to become discouraged and lose sight of the God who loves you and has good things for you, the meantime should not be viewed as purposeless, or a useless period of waiting and delay. In John 11, Jesus delayed going to see the sick Lazarus, and Lazarus died.
Why did Jesus allow this? Why didn’t He hurry up and get there and heal Lazarus?
Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?”
And they did see the glory of God when Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead.
God is glorified when we look to Him, wait on Him, and trust in him.
Keep reading the Word. Pray. Spend time with people who can encourage you as you move toward God and His plans. Keep your eyes on God.
The meantime can be a fruitful time of waiting on God, trusting in Him and growing in your relationship with Him and others. Look to Him. Don’t compromise your values. Move forward with the direction you have in the meantime.