by LaDonna Neel
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In between. It is not a place most of us like to be. We are not where we were but we are not where we are going either. However, how we handle the place in between can directly impact our destiny. It is this place of in between that our choice to either believe God or bow to fear comes into play. It is here that we in faith reach forward and receive or in doubt stop short and never see God's desired end.
The Children of Israel are quite the picture of this "in between" scenario. For more than a few decades they had been the captive guest of Pharoah and the Egyptian society. They were subjected to brutal forced labor from barbaric taskmasters. Young and old alike were often the recipient of the venomous sting of the foreman's whip across their back when they were judged to be unruly or unproductive. Through the years, they had raised their voice to God, crying out for deliverance from their terrible plight. When the time was right, God sent that deliverance by the hand of his servant Moses. In a historic display of Divine power, God forcefully loosened Egypt's tight-fisted grip upon his people, breaking their shackles and leaving Egypt in shambles. What they had prayed so hard for was finally a reality. For the first time in what seemed like an eternity, the Children of Israel were free.
As they left Egypt by the thousands that day, they were leaving behind that which they had longed to be free from. Change had finally come, and they were overjoyed. However, that joy began to wane when, instead of being plucked from bondage in one breath and placed in their promised land in the next, they found themselves on a journey between what was and what was to be. Many of them became uncomfortable and afraid in this setting. The exuberant enthusiasm that carried them out of Egypt dwindled. Where they had been was behind them and where they were going was nowhere in sight. Rather than believing God was willing and able to finish that which He started, they let skepticism slip in. Their shouting was replaced with doubting, their confidence with complaining, and their eyes towards the future with pining for the past. As a result of these unfortunate choices, a majority of those God delivered from Egyptian bondage became a casualty of their "in between" and never saw God's promise to them become a reality. Hebrews 3:19 tells us plainly that because of their unbelief they were not able to enter His rest. Unbelief when in between short-circuited God's plan for them.
In between times are common occurrences in life even today. Maybe we asked to leave point A or maybe we were run out of town. Regardless of the circumstances surrounding our departure, that stretch between point A and point B can be challenging, especially as we go further into the journey and what is behind us fades and our destination has not yet come into view. We may tend to see this time as wasted and worthless, but nothing could be further from the truth. This place in the middle is where tomorrow happens. The choices we make here either loose or limit the hand of God in our lives. If we become fearful and faint-hearted, we will either stall out where we are and die in the desert or we will slip backwards towards where we were and away from where God wants to take us. On the other hand, if we place our confidence in God's perfect character and faithfulness, walking one step at a time according to his direction, He will take us successfully across the often ominous "in between" and right into the land He desires to give us. We have nothing to fear. God knows the way. He has walked the road before us. He has a plan in place. Follow his lead. Go forward in faith.
"So don't throw it all away now. You were sure of yourselves then. It's still a sure thing! But you need to stick it out, staying with God's plan so you'll be there for the promised completion. It won't be long now, he's on the way; he'll show up most any minute. But anyone who is right with me thrives on loyal trust; if he cuts and runs, I won't be very happy. But we're not quitters who lose out. Oh, no! We'll stay with it and survive, trusting all the way." (Hebrews 10:35-39 MSG)
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