Okay, I’m going to get a little existential on you, so get ready. This was inspired in prayer the other night by a scripture I will share with you at the end of the post.
I am Here. I am where I am. I live in this place, right now. I exist here, I think and move and act, right here and right now. It’s not where I want to be, but it is where I am. Some might call it Egypt, I simply call it Here.
But there is another place. It is the place I want to be. It is the person I want to be, the person I know God has called me to be. I’m not exactly sure where that place is, but I know it’s not Here. Some might call that place The Promised Land, I call it There.
Then there is the land between. The space between Here and There. It is a place that is often dry, often lonely, almost always hard. It is a place of frequent trials and failed tests. It is a land of looking forward, and too often looking back. It is a land of longing. How could it not be? It is not There. Some call this place the wilderness, I call it The Land Between.
Too often the source of my despair and discouragement is from the fact that I long to be somewhere other than Here, I long to be There. In those times I overlook the Land Between. I think of it as a waste, of some time to kill until I get There. But The Land Between is much more. This place is the real essence of what it means to be a Christ follower. It is the place where the fire of affliction burns away my imperfections. It is a place where I am put to the test, where my motives are revealed, and where I am found wanting to be more like the One I claim to follow.
The Land Between is a place is where sorrow and tears and trials forge in me a faith that cannot be shaken and a resolve that cannot be broken. It is a place where my losses are sometimes greater than my gains, where one step forward is often followed by ten steps back, where I am often tempted to sit down and give up.
But where can I go? Here is not where I want to be. There is yet too far away, and I am left with a compass that often resembles the one owned by a certain Capt. Sparrow. For me there is only The Land Between, the space between Here and There. So I will walk. I will set out for a destination unknown, trusting I will recognize it when I find it…or when it finds me.
The funny thing is, when I start the journey I find I’m much closer to There than I ever imagined.
“…do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience, inherit the promises.” ~ Hebrews 6:12
#1 by Mark Murdock on June 2, 2011 - 12:09 PM
Reminds me of 2 Corinthians 5:1-9:
For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For indeed in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven, 3 inasmuch as we, having put it on, will not be found naked. 4 For indeed while we are in this tent, we groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed but to be clothed, so that what is mortal will be swallowed up by life. 5 Now He who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave to us the Spirit as a pledge. 6 Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord– 7 for we walk by faith, not by sight– 8 we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord. 9 Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him.
I wonder how many of us can sincerely say that we “prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord”? To follow Jesus is to be on the narrow road to life. Someday we will get there!
#2 by Anna on June 21, 2011 - 9:33 AM
What a beautiful expression of what the christian walk is-the reality of it, not the ‘everything’s coming up roses’ version.
It is a good reminder that this is not time wasted or simply endured but time to draw close and learn more and more to trust HIm.
The desert photo depicting the barreness and also the beauty of this time is so appropriate to this message. I can almost here His voice calling, ‘Come to Me and rest.”
Thank you for sharing these beautiful words from the Lord.
#3 by Dave Kirby on June 21, 2011 - 9:41 AM
Thanks Anna. Glad it spoke to you like it did me.