Recently I found myself sitting in front of a monstrous pretzel, drinking a latte with Pooh Bear art on top, eating a giant stack of pumpkin pancakes, and downing a basket of chicken fingers with a side of fries. While this sounds like a Pepto Bismol commercial about to happen, I didn’t actually partake of all this goodness in one day. That would have been epic; #stretchypants. But no, these were casual hangs with amazing friends that turned into moments of divine revelation and hard truths. Each encounter had me unexpectedly pouring out layers of my downcast heart in pieces. But as I sit here, replaying and digesting the conversations, I’m struck by God’s overwhelming, all-consuming, relentless pursuit of my heart.
You see, I’ve been in a season that hasn’t been full of unicorns and rainbows. As an eternal optimist, this has been especially difficult for me. I tend to compartmentalize all things negative and camp out with my glitter and sparkles, believing everything will magically be okay if I just think hard enough that it will. So what do you do when reality keeps trying to pop in? I put my fingers in my ears, yelled “la la la” real loud and ran. Unfortunately, I don’t think that was the correct answer. So after running out of breath, I had no choice but to sit in it. Sit in the funk. Sit in the places I don’t understand. Sit in the dry land. Sit in the uncomfortable. Sit in the unknown. Sit in the place between what has been and what will be – in the middle.
Webster defines “in the middle” as “a difficult or unpleasant position; (being) in the process of; while something is happening or being done”.
When Moses obediently and humbly led God’s people out of Pharaoh’s captivity, they came to the Red Sea. Instead of giving up, they watched as God miraculously parted the water and made a way. They were running from captivity towards a promised land flowing with milk and honey. God met them in the middle and made a way out. However, the Egyptians angrily chased after God’s people and came to the same sea. Yet they drowned in the middle. Listen, sister. When you approach the difficult and unpleasant circumstances in life, you must determine whether you will keep walking or drown.
Today, I find myself in the middle. I’m sitting in it, and if I’m honest, there’s a part of me that wants to continue to sit here and never come up for air. But I know that I know that I KNOW there is a Promise Land waiting for me on the other side of this middle. And with every ounce of faith I have, I’m now standing and fighting to put one foot in front of the other. I am doing the next right thing. The Israelites were a stubborn bunch and even after the Red Sea, they found themselves in yet another middle, wandering in the wilderness for 40 years. Oh how I want to be surrendered to the process so I’m not here for 40 years! Sometimes 40 minutes feels long enough, you know?!?!?! I WANT to receive and experience all that God has for me, but like every story, there is a beginning, a middle and an end. The middle is where character is developed, strength is built and self-sufficiency is destroyed. It’s in the middle that we let go of all striving and just be; where we discover God’s love for us is tender, and unwavering! Psalm 136:13-14,16 (TPT) “He split open the Red Sea for them! His tender love for us continues on forever! And He led His people right through the middle! His tender love for us continues on forever! He led His people through the wilderness! His tender love for us continues on forever!”
Are you like me? Standing between the promise and the promised fulfilled, and finding it all pretty overwhelming and impossible? Do you feel like you’re wandering a wilderness that never ends? Grab hold of the same revelation it took me multiple grub sessions to discover: HIS TENDER LOVE WILL LEAD YOU THROUGH THE MIDDLE. Rest in His love for you today. Recognize that it’s only out of His great love for you that He has you in the middle. Do not allow yourself to drown in the middle. Commit to walk out victorious with the Promise Land on the horizon and a deeper revelation of God’s great love for you!
About Becky Jones
Becky and her husband, Shane, and their two kids live North of Dallas. Becky is one of a kind (in the best way). When she is not writing, speaking or leading at her local church, she is getting her daughter to her next dance class or battling the next level in Star Wars with her son. Fun and laughs will come if you are around Becky for 5 seconds but make sure you stick around because she is a deep well with a passion for pursuing God's real heart for herself and others.