On those nights I read a chapter or two from inspirational Christian books, I’m able to fall asleep reminded that no matter what the day held or what is awaiting me the following day, God is with me. I recently mentioned a book I received as a gift; The Land Between by Jeff Manion. Jeff shares numerous stories of those that had their planned life or perhaps what they believed was their ideal life. Then suddenly God steps in and changes it.
What do we do when we are “between” the life we chose and believed God directed and the life God chose for us? Do we run and hide or are we like Job, Joseph and dozens of other faithful children of God? Do we stand strong and say, “here I am Lord, use me.” Jeff shared of Joseph’s trials. There is much to learn from Joseph. He was the favorite son of his father, but jealousy and anger caused his life to be totally disrupted and changed. Yet, it was not without God’s hand and plan. Ultimately Joseph received far more than he ever imagined.
As we are in “the land between” it is often difficult to see how beautiful God’s plan is for us. As I have been dragging the ten-foot ladder all over my yard, climbing high to do tasks, I’m struggling with seeing “God’s plan” for the “between” of my life. I had a husband, a family, a home, and normalcy, but then suddenly that ended.
Countless friends and family touted I would not be alone long for God would send me a companion, a friend. No, that wasn’t God’s plan. So here I am eight years later alone and “between.” Jeff reminded his readers in his words, “In the land between, a remarkable phenomenon occurs. We come to possess a vital faith that allows us to be at our best when life is at its worst. We emerge from a season of profound disappointment, unnerving chaos, or debilitating pain with a faith worth having. We learn the Land Between is about a journey of trust and that something flourishes there that could not be produced in any other soil. We discover that the place we most want to escape has produced the fruit we most desperately crave.”
We can indeed trust God to know His plans are far greater than ours. Jeff shared of one of this friends that was learning to trust while “between.” “There is an intimacy, a settled trust, a level of dependence on God in Ben’s life that is new. He has journeyed through the Land Between, has kept his heart open, and been dramatically changed.”
When my “between” ends whether in this life or with God, I may never understand the purpose, but I will know God does bring beauty from the “ugliness of life.” As I undertake tasks which are such a struggle for me, I’m constantly reminded, I’m “between” and God is standing right there with me. Psalm 27:14, NKJ, “Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart…”