In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps. Proverbs 16:9
Have you ever felt that you were stuck in an "in-between-time"? Looking back over human history, the world has languished in the midst of pandemics, societal unrest, fires, droughts, floods, famines. People have suffered in times of transition, leaving their old homes to seek new ones, sometimes trying to escape persecution and violence. In times of war, no one knows what will end up being left of their personal worlds. "In-between-times" are part of the human condition on this earth. Sometimes it can feel as if we are stuck in misery and uncertainty, unable to move forward through these present troubles.
The Bible is a book about real life, and it contains some good examples of the struggle that occurs in the "in-between-times" too. One of these "in-between-times" is found in the beginning of the Bible. In Genesis 15 God promised a man named Abraham that he would have a son, become the father of a great nation and ultimately bless all nations of the world. but then 25 years of waiting went by. It wasn't until Genesis chapter 21 when we read that a son named Isaac was born. What kind of pressure and stress do you think Abraham felt as the years went by? What were the conversations like between him and his wife, Sarah?
Or what about the interval between the time that David was anointed as King (1 Samuel 16) of Israel and the day when he actually began to reign? (2 Samuel 5) David's 15-year "in-between-time" included fighting the giant Goliath, being banished by the current king who wanted to kill him, hiding out in the desert and fighting many battles. Don't you think he was frustrated and concerned about whatever "the plan" was?
Think, also, for a moment about the followers of Jesus. Their leader, who they had believed was their Savior, had just gone back to heaven. They huddled together in a secret upper room in Jerusalem not knowing quite what to do. They must have rehearsed His words and instructions over and over again. But still they were fixed in that room for what must have felt like an eternity. But suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. And the Holy Spirit descended upon them! Never again would they be the same!
In each of those cases, the "in-between-times" were platforms upon which God built something new, something fresh, something wonderful! He will do that again, if we accept His plan and His right to rule in our lives.
Yes, the "in-between-times" are uncomfortable, unnatural-feeling times that grate on our sense of independence and self-determination. We want these times over, all over, now. Do you find yourself in an "in-between time" today? If so, pause for a while and ask God what He wants to do with you during this time. What can be gleaned? What part of your character needs adjusting? What attitude needs to be changed? Some of those areas are very personal. They only involve us. But then sometimes God is speaking to a collective people, a community, a nation. Let's not be in such a hurry to get out of the "in-between times." Let's get out of the" in-between times" what He wants us to get. "See, I am doing a new thing!" Scripture says in Isaiah 43:19. "Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
In one of his "in-between-times," David wrote: "I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD In the land of the living." (Psalm 27:13). The follower of Jesus can say the same thing, as he or she continues to lean into the hope and peace we have in Christ.
Resource Reading: Acts 2:1-47