Don’t fret the in-between

Being in the in-between is one of the hardest places to be. It’s the period of time characterized by a whole bunch of unknowns. It’s the time between receiving the diagnosis and the appointment to find out if there’s a treatment. It’s the time you spend wondering if the house will sell, if this relationship will last, if you’ll still have a job, if you’ll get into your first choice college. It’s those gut-wrenching minutes when you can’t find your toddler or hours of wondering where your teen or young adult child is when they are not answering their phone. 

I don’t know how unbelievers deal with these things, but those of us who put our hope and faith in Christ have a not-so-secret weapon to carry us through the in-between. Calling on Jesus and inviting him into the situation means he has it under control.

Recently, a man threw a young boy off the third floor of the Mall of America. Immediately his mother screamed for everyone to pray. Thanks to Facebook, within a short amount of time many of us were begging God to spare that boy and knit him back together, not knowing if the boy was still alive. (He is, and the last report said there is no brain damage and no spinal cord injury. Thank you, Jesus!) 

Our worrying adds no value or solution to the situation. Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:25,27: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry. . . . Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”

Sometimes we forget how big God is. We forget how wide and long and high and deep his love for us is. Those two statements should spur us to trust during the in-between. God is powerful, and God is love. And through prayer, we, his children, have unlimited access to both!

Don’t believe it? Consider these passages:

Romans 8:28 “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

Notice the word all. God doesn’t work for our good in some things but in all things. Whatever the outcome is, God will work for our eternal good. 

Mark 4:39-41 “He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, ‘Quiet! Be still!’ Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, ‘Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?’ They were terrified and asked each other, ‘Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!’”

Those scary unknowns are no match for Jesus. One word from him and the situation is under control. Even if he doesn’t calm the storm, he can keep us afloat. We’ve seen him work in our lives before. We can trust him to work again. 

Jeremiah 29:11 “‘I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD.”

God has a unique plan for each of us who are “God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10).

Even before God knit us in our mothers’ wombs, God had in mind what we would experience and the people he would put in our paths to help us along the way. 

Psalm 37:23,24 “The LORD makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand.”

I had four children, and I babysat for years before that. I’ve often walked hand in hand with a child and caught him or her when that child stumbled. 

Isn’t it good to know God isn’t letting go of us? And since he’s walking with us, we don’t have to fear the in-between. He will keep us from face planting. He will maneuver us away from the puddles. He will walk us through the dangerous intersections. He will even hang on to us when we are too weak to hang on to him. 

That means we can quit worrying and trust God to be the omniscient, all-powerful God he is.

 

Amber Albee Swenson is a writer, speaker, and blogger. Her husband and four children keep life exciting and give her lots to write and pray about. Mother, wife, and author are treasured positions, but child of God is her identity.

 

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