What do we do when God’s timing is different than our timing? What do we do when God doesn’t move as fast as we want him to? What do we do…”in the meantime”?
Many may think that this time period, is meaningless… a total waste of time. It is “in the meantime” that we tend to get anxious, impatient, frustrated, and disappointed. We are absolutely certain that NOTHING is happening! But, what if I told you that this time can be a VERY productive time. In fact, it can become the catalyst for a better outcome and a better future than you thought possible, IF it is used wisely.
You see, when we’re in that space known as the “meantime”…AKA the “waiting phase”… it is actually the best time to see and experience MAJOR transformation and growth in your life. It’s when we are stretched further than we thought we could ever go that we recognize our abilities and get a glimpse of our potential.
As believers, we must be assured that God has a PLAN and a PURPOSE for each of our lives. In order to have peace and joy in our hearts, we must seek to align ourselves with GOD’s WILL. As we spend TIME IN HIS WORD, we can learn a lot about God’s will for our lives and the promises that we can claim along life’s journey.
There are 2 things that we can purpose in our hearts to do ”in the meantime,” to ensure that we will experience the peace that God has promised and freely given to us:
- Surrender to God’s WILL– We should spend time in prayer, DAILY. The purpose of this time with God is to hear God’s prompting and leading…to hear his voice, so that we can stay on the path that HE has for us. This is especially crucial before making any long-lasting, far-reaching decisions. We should also share any concerns we have with God, asking for wisdom, guidance, and insight. We should take NOTHING for granted.
“In ALL thy ways acknowledge him, and HE SHALL direct thy paths.” Proverbs 3:6
In other words, we should always remember that we are here TO PLEASE THE LORD with our lives and to further HIS Kingdom.
Jesus is our example, right? In Luke 2:49b (NKJV), when Jesus was still a boy, he was discovered to be missing among the group. He wasn’t with his parents. He wasn’t with his family. He was found to be in the synagogue. He was in the house of God! He was shocked that they didn’t know where he was. He said, “…Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?”
In Ephesians 5:1-2, we are called to be FOLLOWERS or IMITATORS of Christ.
In Galatians 2:20, Paul says, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but CHRIST LIVETH IN ME: and the life which I NOW LIVE in the flesh I LIVE BY THE FAITH of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”
If we surrender OUR WILL to the WILL OF GOD, there will be no conflict of interest or plans.
- Enjoy the JOURNEY of Life- It is SO important that we enjoy the JOURNEY of life, rather than focus only on the destination. When we place all of our concerns in God’s hands, we will find that he will surprise us, in many ways, along the way. You see, “in the meantime”…while we’re “waiting”… is when we show growth, and gain wisdom and experience that will help propel us to the next level. It’s also when we best recognize God’s blessings and favor.
God wants to reveal things to you about YOURSELF that will ONLY come out when you are challenged OUTSIDE of your comfort zone. Sure, because we are in a fallen world, some things that we face in life are quite negative. This reveals areas of needed growth and strength. More importantly, it shows our need for God. However, many times… in the midst of a struggle, you will discover hidden strength, talents, and abilities of creativity that you never thought possible. It is in times of difficulty that God will reveal the strength that you have tapped into through your trust in him. Consequently, through various life experiences, you will gain wisdom and clarity that will set you up for a brighter future.
Remember, a baby bird never realizes its ability to fly, until it is pushed out of its comfortable nest by a loving mother who knows its potential. 😊
So, to better understand the importance of “the meantime,” let’s turn our attention to the LIFE of a PLANT. Notice that we never talk about the LIFE of a SEED. It’s not that interesting. See John 12:24.
Now, no one plants a seed and expects to see a mature plant a day or even a week later. In most cases, you won’t even see a sign of it for many days or weeks; but, once the seed has been planted there is also an EXPECTATION. In fact, from the time that the seed is placed in the ground, a timeline begins and a harvest is EXPECTED.
This should give us much hope; because mustard seed faith MOVES MOUNTAINS according to the Word of God. Matthew 17:20
Zachariah 4:10 tells us not to despise small beginnings. We can also take that to imply “slow” beginnings AKA “unimpressive” beginnings.
We should not despise them because little becomes much when you place it in the Master’s hands. When we plant a seed in the ground, we have no control over what takes place UNDER the ground. Sure, we work hard to ensure that conditions are favorable for the seed to grow; but, the GROWTH is a work of God.
According to 1 Corinthians 3:6-7, one plants, another waters; but it is God that gives the increase.
So, although we have the responsibility of nurturing the plants in our garden, it is the miraculous POWER OF GOD that brings forth the increase.
We can see, in the life of a plant, that the “in the meantime” phase holds MUCH value. Likewise, it is the underground root system that grows underneath the surface of YOUR LIFE that creates the foundation for things to come. It is the secret place where the Spirit of God moves. We have NO control there. That part of development is out of our control. It’s MIRACULOUS!
This is why the Word says, “Now FAITH is the substance of things HOPED for, the evidence of things NOT SEEN.” So, if you are truly a FOLLOWER of Christ, just hold on and have faith. Your life WILL produce MUCH fruit!
Jesus says in John 15:5a, “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that ABIDETH in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth MUCH fruit…”
So, let’s think about 2 important things that a gardener or farmer does after planting seeds to prepare for harvest.
- Weeding- Once the seeds have been planted, the crop must still be nurtured or tended to. A most critical duty is to prevent weeds from taking over. Likewise, we must be diligent to keep the weeds of doubt, insignificance, and disappointment from taking over our minds, our dreams, and our future.
- Make Room– There must also be a place to store the crop when it is harvested. In other words, there must be space cleared and made available for what is to come. Similarly, we must make room in our thoughts and in our plans for what we are moving TOWARDS.
This is where spiritual and personal growth come into play. There may be some skills that we need to learn. There may be some character flaws that we must overcome with the help of the Holy Spirit. In other words, we must use this preparation time WISELY. It is not a time for idleness. We must continue to prepare ourselves for the next level.
You’ve probably heard the saying “you have to crawl before you walk.” Well, even in that process, there are various stages of wobbling, stumbling, and falling along the way to walking success. Learning to ride a bike is a very similar experience. Yet, the payoff is priceless with the unique skills, opportunities, and adventures that await on the other side.
In other words, to enjoy the JOURNEY is to enjoy LIFE. To enjoy life IS to enjoy the journey. However, this can only be accomplished WITH Christ.
Jesus says, “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might HAVE LIFE, and that they might have it MORE ABUNDANTLY.” John 10:10
“You will show me the PATH OF LIFE: in Your presence is FULLNESS OF JOY; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Ps. 16:11 NKJV
As we become grateful “in the meantime,” we will find that we have NO time to WASTE. We will also find that we have a much stronger faith than we had before. We will begin to experience more peace and joy than ever before. In fact, testimonies, ministries, and new beginnings are birthed out of these times; because, we will finally be able to recognize and experience God moving and manifesting himself in our lives. So, if you are experiencing this “in the meantime” phase right now, consider yourself a seed that has been planted… and EXPECT the HARVEST!