What to Do When You're Stuck In-Between
I’m in-between. I feel caught between the things I’ve accomplished and what I’d still like to do. Maybe you’re there.
It can get discouraging. The in-between time seems very mundane – each day is pretty much like the previous one. It makes me restless. I don’t see the progress I’d like to and it feels like I’m at a standstill.
It’s unrealistic to expect to move from one big thing to the next, but waiting is hard. I’m tempted to look for a short cut to reach my goals. But I’m convinced the in-between times are wise teachers – designed to help me see my need for God and His plan.
Too hard to wait
Jacob had a bad case of the in-betweens. I imagine he learned early on that he would rule over his brother Esau (Genesis 25:23). Instead of letting God work out the details, Jacob decided to put his own plan into motion.
Tradition called for the eldest son to receive a double portion of the family inheritance, and to one day become the family leader. Esau was the firstborn. But Jacob began plotting to strip Esau of his birthright.
Jacob and Esau shared little in common. While Jacob preferred being inside and was an excellent cook, Esau loved the outdoors and thrived as a hunter.
Putting the plan into action
When Esau came in from the fields complaining of exhaustion, Jacob saw his opportunity. Esau practically begged for a bowl of the stew Jacob was cooking. This was the moment he’d been waiting for all these years.
Jacob’s response was quick and simple:
Sell me this day thy birthright. Genesis 25:31
Shockingly, Esau agreed. He was willing to sell his privileges as the firstborn for a bowl of food.
Patience is a virtue
Jacob had plotted and schemed to get Esau’s birthright instead of waiting on God’s timing. While Rebekah was pregnant with both boys, the Lord told her that two nations were in her womb, one people would be stronger than the other; and the older brother would serve the younger. Somewhere along the line, Jacob got tired of the in-between time and took things into his own hands.
I’m just like Jacob. God has set some things into motion in my life, but I get impatient. I decide God needs a little help, and I dash off in the direction that seems right to me. Big mistake.
The value of the in-between
The in-between time gives me the opportunity to:
Seek God: search for His wisdom and direction for the next step I need to take.
Seek the Lord and his strength, seek his face continually. 1 Chronicles 16:11
Be faithful: choose to continue doing what he’s already called me to do.
Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. 1 Corinthians 4:2
Help others: share what I’m learning with others.
Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. 2 Corinthians 1:4
Are you in the middle of an in-between time? How will you choose to respond to the place where God has you?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Thank You for the in-between times. Please forgive me for rushing ahead of You and trying to manipulate circumstances that I need to leave in Your hands. Help me seek You, follow the path You have for me, and help others along their journey. In Jesus’ name, Amen.