In the Meantime

Thursday, January 10, 2013

How do you cope with that in-between time when you are waiting for God to do something? How do you live“in the meantime?”

In Bethany Mary and Martha knew that Jesus could heal their very sick brother, Lazarus. They sent an urgent message to Jesus and then began the waiting and praying and waiting and praying. They were living “in the meantime.” In the Jewish culture, a person was not actually accepted as being fully dead and with no chance of coming back to life until after three days. The Jews would “sit shiva” for three day for grieving purposes. May and Martha must have been beside themselves with grief waiting for Jesus.

“In the meantime” Jesus was with his disciples 20 miles away, across the Jordan River where they had retreated for a few days before Jesus’ arrest. Jesus spent time praying, teaching, and preparing his disciples for his death. When Jesus received the 911 message, he assured his disciples, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” He stayed two more days before returning to Bethany.

John 11 tells us that Jesus loved Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. The family was safe in the hands of God. While it seemed to Mary and Martha that they had been abandoned by Jesus, the truth is that he had a bigger plan. Jesus “awakened” Lazarus after four days, a miracle that showed the world God’s glory. We are all in the same good hands during our “in the meantime.” God loves us, is faithful to us, and has a plan for us that is far better than any plan we can design.

We get to choose how we live “in the meantime.” I have many “in the meantime” experiences. One was in an ambulance. My sons and I dropped by the house we were building to see the progress. My 9-year-old Jordan ran up the stairs to see his room. When he jostled the 8 sheets of sheetrock weighing over 300 lbs, they fell on top of him. Hearing the blood curdling scream, his 14-year-old brother Josh and I ran to see what had happened. Josh, with what can only be described as a miracle, lifted that sheet rock off him enough so that I could pull Jordan out. Jordan’s words were, “Mommy, I can’t feel my legs.” The ambulance arrived and Jordan was placed in the back, but I was not allowed to sit next to him. I sat in the passenger seat in front and endured the longest ride of my life wondering if my son was paralyzed. The questions that plague us “in the meantime” began to surface. Why did this happen? Would he would ever walk again? Would he play baseball? Would he swim again? I fervently prayed that God would intervene. “In the meantime” seemed like a cruel time with my son “alone” in the back of the ambulance and his mommy “alone” in the front. God was still ever present. Jordan had a broken pelvis. He spent months recuperating, spent time in a wheelchair and then on crutches and re-learning to walk. It was a wonderful day when Jordan was given the okay to run. While I was “in the meantime,” God was at work. He never left us. He never leaves us. That year in school, Jordan received the Luke 2:52 award for his positive spirit. “Jesus grew in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and all the people” (Luke 2:52).

Yes, we get to choose how we live “in the meantime.” I penned a poem called “On the Brink” which describes living “in the meantime.” It concludes with these lines

“It’s scary on the brink

Of fear

Tottering on the precipice of the unknown

Believing I must step forward into the foothold of God’s firm hand

Yet fearing a fall backwards into the abyss of doubt and anger and solitude


You see…when we live “in the meantime” we get to choose whether we will fall forward in faith or fall backwards into the abyss of fear. It all comes down to FAITH.

May we all “grow in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and all people” ----even “in the meantime.”


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