The in-between times.
I have a hard time finding God in the in-betweens. In the midst of chaos, I have no doubt that He is there. In the tragic and sad times, I know He’s there. In the times of celebration and fun, it’s easy to give Him credit for being there. But the times in-between… I struggle. When I have questions and no answers… I struggle. As each normal day comes and goes... I struggle.
Do you ever read about the Israelite's and wonder how could they ever question God with everything that they had seen? Judgmental confession time. I do. Often. I read through their adventures in the Old Testament and often wonder how in the world did they screw up so royally that they ended up in the desert for 40 years. They saw the most incredible things. The ten plagues, the splitting of the red sea, food delivered to them almost magically on a daily basis. Firsthand, they saw the most incredible things that any human being could ever see.
But the times in-between… they struggled.
Insert personal conviction here.
I’m pretty quick to share my shock over the Israelite's behavior. How could they possibly doubt God? How could they disobey Him? How dare they question His plan for them!
I wonder what the Israelites would think if they were looking at my life the same way I look at theirs. Would they ask the same questions that I asked? Knowing that I have the Bible. Knowing that I have the birth and death of Christ in the rear-view mirror and a Savior is not just something that people are murmuring about coming someday. Knowing that I have the Holy Spirit on my side, the Helper sent to me directly from my God. Would they ask the same questions?
How could she possibly doubt God?
How can she disobey Him?
How dare she question His plan for her life!
The truth is I’m not that much different from them. While God might not be splitting the Red Sea for me to walk across and He may not be providing manna straight from heaven, He’s shown himself in so many different ways. I have His word that I can go to whenever I want. I don’t have to go through a high priest. I don’t have to wait for a sign from heaven. He left a life manual for me. And I have the Holy Spirit. A Helper straight from God who dwells in me, convicts me, guides me, intercedes for me.
And still the times in-between…. I struggle.
Just like the times in-between…. They struggled.
Those days in-between, the days that come and go without chaos, without sadness, or excitement. Those days where direction and clarity are uncertain. As one day blends into the next. The easy days. The lukewarm days. I struggle. But God is still there. Just like he was for the Israelites so He will be for me. Faithful when I am not. Present when I choose to not see it. Silently guiding me, protecting me, loving me.
And so the questions becomes what am I going to do about it? On those lukewarm days, those in-between times when it's easy to go the day without consulting God, without taking time in His Word. When it’s easy to rely on myself. Am I going to learn from the Israelite's mistakes or am I going to choose to not see the similarities?
And still, in those times in-between… God is there.
Unchanging and faithful.
James 4:8 Come near to God and he will come near to you.