In-between… [noun] Also known as in-betweener – a person or thing that is between two extremes, two contrasting conditions, such as yeses, nos/or noes, and in-betweens.
Sound familiar? Today, Easter Saturday is certainly that day for the entire calendar, but none more than the very first Easter Saturday, when nobody knew yet, that Sunday would be the day that the game changed.
Today, it feels like the world celebrates the waiting factor of being in-between. I wish I could embrace it as enthusiastically in my own personal life, but that is not always an easy thing to do. Today, when it feels like we sit and wait to celebrate tomorrow, Jesus was in fact demolishing the powers of darkness, grabbing keys and unlocking doors, setting captives free, and changing our eternity, for eternity. Heaven rubbed its hands together, in expectation, just like my mum does when she is waiting for an apple pie to bake in the oven. All the angels in heaven were anticipating the day He would rise; they saw the in-between day as a day of great victory.
So what are you doing today? Are you celebrating the in-between day while you wait for Sunday? Are you stuck between two extremes, or contrasting conditions? If so, please know that you are certainly not alone in that place. Even if it seems like a dark place, remember Jesus conquered darkness, even your darkness. He sees in the dark, and darkness is as light to Him. You may not see Him there beside you, but trust me I know He is there with you.
Are you stranded between yours or someone else’s yeses and nos, maybes and delays? As Jesus moved through the depths of the earth dismantling everything that could ever come between you and Him, don’t you think that He too can handle the yeses and nos of our lives? I understand, it is easier said than done, but isn’t that what faith is? Believing without yet seeing! Remember the dearly loved followers of Jesus as they waited for Sunday, nobody had even risen from the dead before. It had never been done in the history of time. What faith they must have had. Even His enemies watched in fear, in case He would actually do it. The eyes of faith must look at something as if it has already happened. Believe me, I am learning to do this as much as you are my friend.
Today, as I remember what kept Jesus busy in the depths of the earth, I am grateful that He walks through the dark seasons of my life with me. I see Him as the greatest Superhero ever. He wielded His powerful sword of truth and demolished every lie, stronghold and fear that tries to ruin my life. He tore down every obstacle that stood in our way. He disarmed the kingdom of darkness and opened the gates of splendid salvation for us. Today, way back then, was a busy day where Jesus stood in-between two very contrasting days, two extremes, two very contrasting outcomes, and changed the world forever. Never before had the world calendar been divided into BC and AD.
AD is an abbreviation for “Anno Domini,” which is a Latin phrase meaning “in the year of our Lord,” referring to the Christ’s birth. BC means before Christ. It was not actually developed until 525 AD, when the entrance of the Christ into the world was recognized as being the turning point of history, and our calendars were made to reflect that. Today, can be a turning point for you too.
So this Easter, may our lives reflect what happened on the in-between day. The day where all of hell woke up to the power of heaven let loose on them. The world was in-between two very contrasting outcomes, and nothing would remain the same.
May you know, that just as you walk through yeses, nos, and difficult days, Jesus walks with you, right in the midst of where it hurts, and He promises to never abandon you. Today, may be a day of waiting for tomorrow, but it would also be a good day to get busy remembering exactly what He did in the darkness, and that He is busy walking us through the in-between times too, and all power is His.
You are much loved, from one in-betweener to another. We are held firmly by the greatest In-betweener the world has or will ever know!
As I type, I am surrounded by construction work, drilling to the left, drilling to the right, and even drilling on the street outside my house. Everywhere I look there is rubble, or walls being torn down. While there is a lot of noise, in the midst of it there are things being quietly built back up: foundations being laid, walls being secured, and new designs being drawn. It is a noisy mixture of tearing down and rebuilding, in three different places. As I sit here, sipping my green tea and sharing a few quiet moments with God before the rest of my day kicks in, I am quietly reminded that our lives resemble the havoc that surrounds the place I currently call home.
Maybe you are in a season where all is being stripped from your life and things feel shaky and uncomfortable for you? It could be that there is a sense of old things dying so that they can be returned to you improved or mended? You may be struggling to surrender control over someone whom you wish you could change, or someone is trying to convince you that you yourself need to change too? Maybe you are in a glorious place of rebuilding and new things are appearing all around you, filling your heart and life with excitement and happiness? It is safe to say that all of us travel through these seasons at varying times in our lives, and we cannot always determine just when they will happen.
In the last few days, the word ABIDE, has grabbed my heart and invited me to be still, and to come away from the madness around me. This word reminds my soul that even in the midst of construction work, (whether internal or external), there is a place of deep peace. It is not found in rushing around glorifying busy schedules, but in the solitude of a quiet moment of surrender and reflection. Abide…Abide…Abide!
Are you rushing around in a state of mayhem, losing your grip on everything because you are trying to carry too much? A lazy man’s load never works, even with the things of the heart! Let it all go…surrender it to God. Choose to ABIDE in the knowledge that the only person you can change is yourself, and that God is walking and working with you to bring order to your life. I am right here with you…learning to ABIDE, when all you see is disappointment and change. Take a breath, put everything in His great big hands. Trust Him with the process, the outcome, the journey and even the tears. You are His masterpiece, so choose to abide, and let the Master take over…I know I am.
♪♫•*¨*•. In The Hallway .•*¨*•♫♪ by Denise Kennedy
For several weeks now, a phrase I heard has rolled around my head, at times causing me to literally stop all I am doing and let it impact my heart deeply.
♪♫•*¨*•.“Until God opens the next door for you, PRAISE Him in the hallway!”.•*¨*•♫♪
As I sat in the garden to begin writing this piece, and had simply written the quote at the top of my blank page, my cell phone rang…my dear friend shared this exact quote with me as we talked, having had no idea what I was writing about…perfect timing and confirmation!
God opens doors it’s true – sometimes He opens them as soon as we ask, while at other times He chooses to open them whether we ask or not. There are occasions when God seems to keep us in the holding pattern, circling to land, and we wait and wait. Recently a huge open door presented itself in my life, and as I currently walk through it, I’m very much aware of the other doors I want to open in my life. There is a lesson in ‘doors’ and a learning curve in how we handle them.
Is there anything grander than that perfect ‘door-swinging open’ moment? When at last that brilliant big door you have been waiting on, opens wide before you and you rush right through it with heart-beating expectation, and excitement. It is a wonderful time, and we thank God as we run with our arms waving over our head like a giddy child at Christmas. So, what happens when the door seems to be solemnly closed, at least for now, or forever? Do we sit sunken and despondent in the hallway of our life, dreading the season of waiting? Do we sit there quite possibly drooling at the door handle begging it to open, and tiresomely hating even the wallpaper or paint on the familiar walls around us? In this place our attitudes can become indifferent or nonchalant, despairing and forlorn. But read again for me if you will, these thought provoking words: “Until God opens the next door for you, PRAISE Him in the hallway!” ~ read them again, this time slowly and let them sink deeply into your tired heart. Let them rest there unshaken and still.
♪♫•*¨*•.“Until God opens the next door for you, PRAISE Him in the hallway!”.•*¨*•♫♪
What door are you waiting on? Are you imagining a new career which will suddenly bring success and comfort into your life? Is there some new quest or adventure beckoning you on to a place of wonder, that somehow seems out of grasp for now? What or who are you possibly waiting for? Well, stop right now – could it be that in all of the time you are waiting for these doors to open, that God wants you to learn to be content right where you are, with Him in the hallway of your life? With Him in the hallway could be the preparation place for what is behind that yet closed door? There could be amazing secrets, words of wisdom and songs of ascent that He longs to share with you, as you sit in the hallway of your present life. Don’t wish this season away, there are diamonds and gems to be gleaned at your feet.
Have you ever locked yourself out of your hotel room? You sit there on the soft plush carpet hoping a room porter will come along, or you wait on that family member who said they would be with you shortly. You suddenly notice the hallway you usually rush hurriedly down, in a whole new light and from a very different view now that you’re sitting on the floor. You see the beautiful light fittings on the chandelier above you, or you admire the ornate mirrors and exquisite paintings on the walls. You take time to appreciate the flowers in the cut glass vases and the stunning antique furniture beneath them. You see, sometimes God causes the doors to close so that we simply learn to appreciate what is around us, and we begin to praise Him in the hallway of paused moments. True it has to be said, when we finally get inside to the other side of the closed door, we truly welcome it with a greater appreciation, having had to wait for it. The delays can cause a deeper appreciation to grow in us, which will make the grand door opening event a far more delightful experience. Sometimes, what the heart must wait longer for, it also grows to miss and then value much more!
God may open the right door but in a different way, He may even open a completely different door at a time we had not foreseen or planned. He may even lead us through a door we do not want or desire at any time in our lives, and these are the moments that show us whether we really trust Him or not. These seasons reveal to us what is really in our heart – if we trust Him as the ‘Door Opener’ of our lives, then we trust His timing too! You may see others rush through the doors that you yourself wanted, and as they disappear through it leaving you with only the sound of their laughter, you sink again onto the carpet of your life and wonder why? It seems so unfair you feel – but for now, just leave the lives of others in His hands, their journey is not any of your business, let it go. Don’t envy the lives of others, when really only they and God know the journey that took them to that place of His providence.
The same God of providence and provision is also with you. He longs to be the One your eyes are fixed upon as you sit in your hallway. He wants to be the One you lean on, run to, sing to, cry to, talk to, laugh with, live with, rely on and depend on! The doors that you walk through are important, but timing is crucial and critical, indeed the right door at the wrong time is a disaster waiting to happen. So whether someone else has closed a door for you, or indeed if it were you who slammed it shut yourself, start trusting God that He can open it again at just the perfect time.
If an employer, friend or family member has let you down with regard to a door you were pounding on, stop pushing it! Begin instead to look to the only One who holds all the keys to all of the doors, all of the careers, jobs, plans, adventures, and dreams you’re hoping for in the future. If you’re tired of pounding doors or screaming at them to open, decide to sit down, not in defeat but in strength. For you know that the Key Holder is in control, and at just the right time and in just the most perfectly beautiful way, He is able to unlock that door, sweep you up and walk you through it.
As I walk through doors, and contemplate many new ones, I know that there is a still, quiet place called the hallway – and there are wonderful lessons to learn there, there is strength to be found there, with the Key Holder of my life.
“We have the choice to: Worry or Worship. Panic or Pray. Tremble or Trust.” – Rick Warren ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸❤¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪
There are doors we are called to wait at, keep knocking on or keep believing for – these are the ‘Faith Doors’ in our lives, and we keep on asking and seeking, and God will honour us as we trust Him. But whether the doors open that we want or not, we must learn to ‘Praise Him In The Hallway’, while we wait – God also waits, on our honest response! So sit down in strength, in trust and in the knowledge that the One with the keys and time in His hands, knows what He is doing –
He is doing something in our hearts in the hallway!