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The Land of In-between
Listen to "The In-betweens"
In the In-betweens, by Phil Ware Phil Ware

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It’s not just the end
    or where we begin
It’s in the in-betweens...

    The song lyrics* captured my attention. Maybe it’s because I’m in mid-life—but I don’t think so. Maybe it’s because I was born in the middle of the century—but probably not. Maybe it’s because I... Nope it’s just because Geoff Moore’s words about “in the in-betweens” are true!

    As humans, we want the quick fix—no 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 it’s 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.”

This is where relationships are built, God is blessed, and we find truth through experience and faith.
    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 perfected—our 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. It’s hard to consign this time “in the in-betweens” to grace. It’s difficult to see grace in the trials that forge us. We don’t 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!

    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 him—“in 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.


HEARTLIGHT® Magazine is a ministry of loving Christians and the Westover Hills church of Christ.
Edited by Phil Ware and Paul Lee.
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