I know. You’re sitting right in the middle.
That place where the hoped-for, longed-for, prayed-for things, haven’t happened just yet.
You’ve been waiting a really long time.
You’ve marched around the mountain, around Jericho, around in the wilderness for what feels like forty years, and there’s still no end in sight—the walls of the impenetrable city stand high and firm, the mountain is solid and immovable, the wilderness is vast and there’s no end in sight.
I see you trudging through, putting one foot in front of the other.
Some days your legs are weary and your feet drag a little, and you wonder why you’re not singing along with the rest of them, who seem to be making their way up mountains, who’ve found oasis in their own places of wilderness. Some days you feel like the end is near.
The Word speaks, and you remember that God is on your side, surely He has seen you, and not forgotten you. Surely He’s not tarrying with the promises. After all, you’ve prayed in faith, and you’ve peppered Him with all of the right scriptures, and you’ve torn down every stronghold in the name of Jesus. You used the three-step formula to victory the pastor preached on Sunday, and don’t forget that miracle offering.
Deep down though, you know that God is wild and untamed. You know the formulas don’t work, because there is none that fit the Divine who shaped the cosmos, who commands the ocean to hug the beach, who steers the moon to tug the tides.
So you sit in the middle in wonder, and wonder when? When will I be whole? When will the missing be found? When will the broken be mended? When will the lack be filled with abundance?
And then the Word says choose life.
Choose life in the messy middle, choose life as your feet drag one foot in front of the other through the dust of just-holding-on faith, of not-yet-answered prayers and the dust of doubt.
I see you stumble and rise, stumble and rise.
Still He’s with you. In all of the stumbling and all of the rising, he walks ahead, behind, alongside. Choose life.
Choose to see the abundance instead of the lack—a meal stretched for two days, the gift of fresh bread, additional work hours.
Choose to see the fullness, through the gaps—deep, delightful friendships, the warm faces of small humans risen from piles of blankets, winter sunshine on coastal walks.
Choose to see the healed and the whole, in the midst of the not-yet-fixed—look! Look how far you have come! Look how much wholeness has come from you doing the work alongside Him. Look how He is putting you back together, after all … all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe – people and things, animals and atoms – get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the Cross. (Colossians 1:20 MSG)
I see you. I see you choosing life, among the dreams that barely hold on.
I see you choose to see the good, believe the best, and refuse to let go of hope.
Even here, now, in the shadow of the mountain, in the messy middle, the in-between, the liminal, you can smile.
And that, my friend, is a gift.