My daughter writes a weekly blog (collegefashionista.com) discussing collegiate fashion. Her most recent blog shared ideas for styling during the difficult period of weather in between summer ending and fall beginning. As I read her blog thinking about my difficulty as a woman living in the south with chilly mornings, warm afternoons and breezy evenings, I too share the challenges of being content as seasons change. It wasn’t long before I found myself pondering my personal challenge of thriving in the middle. The space between my past and my future, my mess and my message, my test and my testimony, my diagnosis and my healing. I am guilty of not always taking full advantage of the sacred space that God has uniquely designed for intimacy with him. Its during those times that my calendar which seems to always be filled is actually empty and no one is available to speak on the phone with me, that my focus on being alone, worried and concerned about my current situation that I can unfortunately miss the middle blessing.
God in his infinite wisdom knows the conclusion of the matter before the presentation of a thing is physically made manifest in our lives. And us in our infinite failed attempt to get to the conclusion of the matter as soon as the presentation of a thing is physically made manifest in our lives results in our inability to see the hand of God working in our lives. The space between midnight and dawn are are not always quiet, but they are powerful, transformational moments for listening, learning and laboring. God desires to trust us with trouble, and we must desire to be trusted. The middle blessing strengthens our faith, ushering in the strength to surrender. Contrary to what the enemy would have us to believe, throwing our hands up, and trusting the process is actually a bold, declarative and boss move. Coming to the realization that we don’t know everything is good, but knowing the one who is all knowing is better. There is peace to be had between seasons. My daughter said “it’s all in the details.”
Here are a few details: God desires for the eyes of our understanding be enlightened (Ephesians 1:18); that by the grace of God we are saved through faith, and that not of ourselves; but instead, it is the gift of God (Ephesians 2:8); that our speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that we may know how we ought to answer every man (Colossians 4:6); and be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6). It is not easy to recall the details when we are going through. Blanketed statements and mantras, such as, “You’re too blessed to be stressed,” or “God doesn’t put more on you than you can bare,” and my favorite, “This too shall pass,” makes me want to give the kermit face. Irregardless of the chatter, we must remind ourselves through God’s Word that there is the middle blessing, and its not an urban myth. Jesus got what he needed in the Garden in order to go to the cross. It was by all accounts a middle encounter. Previously, he had fellowship and adoration from the disciples and others whose lives would never be the same after being touched by him. Before him was the cross that he was born to bare, and a promise to be resurrected after he endured unimaginable pain. On his knees in the garden, with tears like drops of blood, in prayer was Jesus’ testing ground, his point to either make a decision to trust God or abandon his purpose for being sent. In no way am I comparing our middle to that of Jesus, but it is an example that we may use as we wait on God and move through our transitions. Its not easy. The familiar is the past, and whether it is desirable or not, it can be comforting. The future is what we hope is better than the past, even though its unknown. The sooner we learn the lessons in the middle, the more prepared we are for our new season. No matter the weather, or the conditions in our lives, we must maintain our praise. Praise is an accessory that never goes out of style and is perfect for whatever is happening in the atmosphere. Check out Issac Carree’s “In the Middle” and get your blessing!