Its not just the end
or where we begin
Its in the in-betweens...
The song lyrics* captured my attention. Maybe its because Im in mid-lifebut I dont think so. Maybe its because I was born in the middle of the centurybut probably not. Maybe its because I... Nope its just because Geoff Moores words about in the in-betweens are true!
As humans, we want the quick fixno waiting, no conditioning, no pain, no time in the in-betweens. We hate it. From our human point of view, transitions are frustrating, waiting is a waste, and difficulties are irritating. We would choose only the start and finish. We would opt for no detours through in the in-betweens.
But its that long silent progression in the in-betweens that we show who we really are. Discipleship is a journey, a life of following, a commitment to reach a destination by passing through the land of in the in-betweens.
When we become Christians, we are declared holy and without sin by the grace of God and because of the sacrifice of Jesus. At the end, we are perfectedour mortality is swallowed up by immortality and our imperfection is made perfect. We spend a lifetime in the in-betweens trying to live up to what God has already made us by his grace. Its hard to consign this time in the in-betweens to grace. Its difficult to see grace in the trials that forge us. We dont want grace to unsettle us with our own sin and weakness. We find it hard to believe that God would allow the wounds we suffer on our journey. But in the in-betweens what life is all about!
This is where relationships are built, God is blessed, and we find truth through experience and faith.
Joy is found, character fashioned, integrity proven, holiness demonstrated, love shared, confidence rewarded, discipleship confirmed, and grace experienced in the in-betweens. This is where relationships are built, God is blessed, and we find truth through experience and faith. We trust God and wait for things to advance at his pace and not our own. We live life and find faith reliable in the in-betweens.
As you face each day with the nagging feeling that you are caught somewhere distant from where you began and where you want to finish, remember this: This is exactly where God wants you to live for himin the in-betweens. There are many who will opt for shortcuts and will abdicate character. They will forget the finish to avoid the journey. They will try to make heaven right here in the in-betweens. But you know, deep down the Holy Spirit resonates this truth within you. God is more real and heaven is more precious to those who have learned to live faithfully on their journey than will ever be known by those who settle for what is neither heaven nor home, but somewhere simply in the in-betweens.
* "The In Betweens" by Geoff Moore and the Distance, off the CD Threads (c) Forefront Records 1997.