Monday, March 18, 2013

The Middle

Check out this wonderful article: The Middle: When Pushing Through brings Joy.

We've all been there right? I have often said I would often rather God give me a no than make me wait. A No atleast gives you finality and a chance to grieve and move on.  And of course God saying Yes is finality as well.  But waiting, going through the middle is long and hard and full of doubt, it's continuing to hope when the answer may very well turn out to be no anyways. (And be honest, when the answer turns out to be no, even after months or years of waiting, its even more devestating because you trusted and hoped and held on) AND Even if its yes, you arrive there - after a long time in waiting-- joyfully but cautiously and exhausted.

I suppose God knows the importance of the middle for more than we do...and I know we see how it shapes us far more in hindsight than while we are there.

Some words from the article....

The middle. Not many want to go there.

Most of us prefer being shot out of our starting blocks for a new adventure. Or rounding the corner to see the finish line with high fives from close friends. It’s the moment we wait for. At the finish we know that the sweat, the mind games, the times we thought it would never happen were well worth it. We finally hear well done.

The middle is the part most us don’t want to talk about. It’s not glamorous. It’s hard.

The middle is the reason most don’t finish.

But the middle is the secret to the joy that seems to elude us.

This is where love is born. . . right in the middle.

Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. {Romans 5:2-5}

Are you in the middle? Worn out? Wondering where you’re going to get that last bit of perseverance you need?

You wonder if this is really worth it.

And joy? Yea, right. That seems like a long lost friend that deserted you at the last pit stop on this long journey.

I have good news.
You’re in the middle. {Sometimes knowing exactly where you are on your God-sized adventure helps. It’s not that you’re in the wrong place, it’s just called the middle and it’s not what you thought it would be. So don’t turn around or give up.}

Maybe you’ve been laboring for months, maybe years, and feel like you’re getting nowhere. The process is getting harder. The promise looks like a mirage. The doubts of the miracle promised seem more real than going through the pain of getting to the other side. Remember you’re in transition and the break through is about to take place.

It’s time to celebrate. You’re almost there!
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. {Hebrews 12:2}

What are you pushing through for the joy set before you? Please don’t give up.

The Middle sucks. There is no sweet way to put it.  And I find myself, although out of the Middle relationally, starting to move into the Middle in other ways.....not knowing where we will move, if we find jobs, if we move somewhere for Dave's job, will I find one too? And will we know where we are going soon or will it be a long process where we struggle with worry and stress and lack of certainty.  And I find myself irritated that life could throw me into the middle again. Haven't I had enough "middle" for awhile?  Can't it be smooth sailing for 6 months, a year or so? Can't I get firm yes or no answers, Lord? I'm exhausted from spending years in the middle, holding out hope....please don't make me do it again.

And certainty may still be the case (Dave starts interview season soon and although just a few firms are hiring, he has gotten some interest, so please keep us in your prayers)  -- this time, the answer may be clear, quick, yes.  Or we may have to wait and push our way through muddy murky water before finally seeing the other shore.

Maybe its in the middle where we are forced to trust-- the Lord and eachother.  Maybe the middle is essential for chipping away rough parts.  Maybe the middle is where we learn the skills we need for when we reach the shore.

and Maybe (and I sure hope so) the Middle is used to make us appreciate the times of blessing, answers and certainty more, to appreciate the certainty of our faith and our Lord more.  When the middle is unclear, our Father's love is clear certain and constant.

As I said, it could be that we have quick answers, that this time we don't have to gear up for a long journey in the middle.  So, maybe I am not qualified to speak on this subject at the moment....I am not 100%  in the middle and though I fear being thrown back in the middle, it may not happen in my near future....But I have faced the middle many times before and  I will have to face the middle again, at some point.  And my biggest comfort in that is that its not just the middle to God....wherever I am is exactly where I am supposed to be now. So, in that respect, this article was a great encouragement.

Middles are not wasted.  To the Lord, they are just as essential as the beginning and the end.

1 comment:

  1. I love this, Katy. You are so right, the middle sucks, but it's not wasted time. God uses it as much--maybe more--than beginnings and ends, yesses and nos!