WAITING IN THE IN-BETWEEN PLACE

I hate waiting. I am more of the instant-gratification type. Unfortunately, life doesn’t always march to my drumbeat. Can you relate?
Whether it’s waiting to find love, start a family, buy a house, get a degree, land the perfect job, or finally retire, most of us have had to wait at an in-between place for our hopes and dreams to materialize. As a matter of fact, I’ve done time in each of those in-between places – and I know I’ve seen more than a few of you there!
It’s easy to get discouraged in an in-between place. Our faith may even be challenged when God doesn’t seem to be answering our prayers in ways – or as promptly – as we think He should. The trick is to learn to wait gracefully in the in-between places.
Here are a few suggestions that may help:
Accept that in-between places will happen. Melody Beattie wrote, “Sometimes, to get from where we are to where we are going, we have to be willing to be in-between…Being in-between isn’t fun, but it’s necessary. It will not last forever. It may feel like we’re standing still, but we’re not. We’re standing in the in-between place. It’s how we get from here to there.” (The Language of Letting Go)
Pray for God’s help to weather this in-between place with grace. The Serenity Prayer has helped many to accept life on life’s (God’s) terms: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” Reinhold Niebuhr
Write a plan and make yourself accountable for working towards it. Define your dream and identify concrete steps you can take to achieve it. Ask a friend to hold you accountable for taking reasonable action steps towards your goal. Celebrate your progress with them. Adjust your goal and expectations as necessary.
Hold loosely to your hopes and dreams. Take whatever steps you can to reach your goals, but trust the outcomes to God. It may help to pray with your hands open, palms up, as a gesture of surrendering your hopes and dreams to God’s care and wisdom.
Trust that God always has your best interest in mind. A friend once pointed out a person in the crowd she had a crush on in high school; he had obviously seen some decades of hard living. She said, “There’s the best answer to prayer I never got!” While it may not always be as obvious why God did not allow a dream to materialize, take God at His word: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28 NIV).
Are you in an in-between place today? Take heart: God is with you and for you. As you wait for your hopes and dreams, wait on the Lord: “Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your ways to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him…” (Psalm 37:3-7a).
TODAY’S CHALLENGE: If you are in an in-between place today, wait patiently – and gracefully – for the Lord to direct your paths.

1 Comment

  1. Chris
    Jul 9, 2015

    I have been in the in-between place for a looooong time now. I go through seasons of trusting that it is all for the best and seasons of “come on God, really! You made the whole blinkin universe in 6 days! What is the hold up?!” My husband left the family 9 1/2 years ago. We are still legally married and I believe that in the eyes of God it is until death. Therefore it is this holding pattern. I resent that my kids have had to grow up without a real dad and without a godly marriage to learn from, but my kids are turning out pretty awesome. He is a father to the fatherless, that’s for sure. But just really tired of waiting, although I know without a doubt that that is what He told me to do. Oh well. God is good all the time, right. Take care, Chris

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