The In-Betweens

It’s those in-between moments.

The hush.

The moment between the valley and the mountain.

The night of storms and trials.

Anchored on a small boat in the midst of a dark sea.

It’s the sighs. The longings, and all those feelings, bubbling up like a spring.

It’s in the waiting. In the “when?” and “how longs?”

It’s in the struggle. The tears and the silent screams. The darkened, bloodied knuckles, holding on so tight.

His hand takes Yours. You lift your reddened eyes. Up to the hills, up to the skies. Who made all these?

Why, the Maker of the in-betweens.
The Captain of your fate.
The Shepherd of your soul.

“Look up, and lift up your head,”
He says.

His peace fights for you.
He fights for your heart.
“Peace, be still.”

Before the shout of victory.
Before the morning comes.

It’s in the quiet.
In the the midst of the night.
In the eye of the storm.

There, you find your strength.
You find your faith, coming forth as pure gold;
even if it only began as a mustard seed.

You find Him.

Oh, don’t despise the quiet moments,
the long years.

The in-betweens.

They make you,
all He intended
for you to be.

Don’t rush.

Oh, dear one.

Find God in
your in-betweens.

He Carries Our Sorrows

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Psalm 34:18 (NASB)

You have a broken heart. It’s shattered on the floor. Over and over. “Time heals all wounds,” they say. Does it? Why is the pain worsening with time? Why are you broken again and again?

As soon as the sun peaks, the night takes over again. You wonder and cry, “Where are You, God?! Don’t you care? I thought You said You’d never leave me!” It’s hard to see when your eyes are blurred by tears, but hear by faith His tender reply: “I am here. Yes, nearer than your very heartbeat. Nearer still.”

Our infirmities touch the heart of God. He hears even the silent cries of a broken heart. Sometimes, we see God as too high and holy to care about our “little hurts.” True, He is holy and almighty. Still:

This is what the high and exalted One says– he who lives forever, whose name is holy: “I live in a high and holy place, but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.”

Isaiah 57:15

God not only knows, but He understands. You need only look to Jesus to see this is true. Isaiah 53:3 and Hebrews 4:15 say of Him:

He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Isaiah 53:3

This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin.

Hebrews 4:15

As humans, we can’t always see when others are struggling. Some people hide their pain behind a smile and good humor. Or we may be aware of their pain, but don’t know how to ease it. We may be too preoccupied with our own trials.

God is not like this. Your Father is not a fair-weather friend. He is not uncaring or preoccupied. He hears the breaking of your heart. He is not like us, wishing us good will, yet unable to do anything about it. Look at the very ministry of the Messiah, Jesus Christ:

The Spirit of the Lord GOD is on Me, because the LORD has anointed Me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent Me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and release from darkness to the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of our God’s vengeance, to comfort all who mourn, to provide for those who grieve in Zion—to give them a crown of beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, and a garment of praise for a spirit of despair. So they will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.

Isaiah 61:1-3

Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. but He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.

Isaiah 3:4-5

Oh, who alone can heal the heart, save for He who made it? You don’t need to hide, beloved. He sees—every crack, crevice, hurt, tear, wandering, and sin.

You have taken account of my wanderings. Put my tears in Your bottle—Are they not in Your book?

Psalm 56:8

Yet, He does not turn you away (Joel 2:12-13, John 6:37). He is gentle with your heart (Psalm 18:35, Isaiah 42:3).

Won’t you give your breaking heart to Him? Won’t you trust Him with your heart, whether whole or broken?

The God of Much

You have very little. That’s okay. God has much. With what little you have, God can do so much.

Jesus soon saw a huge crowd of people coming to look for him. Turning to Philip, he asked, “Where can we buy bread to feed all these people?” He was testing Philip, for he already knew what he was going to do.

Philip replied, “Even if we worked for months, we wouldn’t have enough money to feed them!”

Then Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up. “There’s a young boy here with five barley loaves and two fish. But what good is that with this huge crowd?”

“Tell everyone to sit down,” Jesus said. So they all sat down on the grassy slopes. (The men alone numbered about 5,000.) Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks to God, and distributed them to the people. Afterward he did the same with the fish. And they all ate as much as they wanted. After everyone was full, Jesus told his disciples, “Now gather the leftovers, so that nothing is wasted.” So they picked up the pieces and filled twelve baskets with scraps left by the people who had eaten from the five barley loaves.

John 6:5-13 (NLT)

His Glory

I took a walk
among the trees
and noticed their branches budding—
reaching and longing—
toward the sun.

“He gives us
life and warmth,
and so we reach
towards Him,”
they told me.

I walked
a little farther
and the wildflowers
at my feet
danced
with the breeze.
I heard
their whispers.

“We are beautiful,
aren’t we?
Yet, such frail
and fleeting things.

“Here
for only a season,
and gone
the next.

“We fall
and our petals
fly.

“He is unchanging.”

I took note
of the eagle
soaring over
my head.
His scream
pierced the air:
so noble and free.

“Do you see
my wings?
Do you see
how I fly?
He gives me
strength and
a place to rest
my weary wings.”

My toes sunk
in the sand
of the seashore.
The waves crashed,
and the water bubbled
and babbled.

The sun was warm
on my skin
and the seagulls cried.
The sea cried
just as well.

“I go only as far
as He sends me.”

Finally, I stopped
and rested
beneath a starry sky.
They glimmered
like diamonds
on an
ebony neck.

“Many have admired
and longed to know us
(to know
what lies
beyond us),
but they miss
the most obvious,
the most vital
thing.

“We testify.
We are older
than your ancestors,
yet we have
a beginning
and an end.

“He is infinite.”

“Don’t you see?
This is what
we’ve been trying to tell you
all along.
Admire us, as you admire
the painting of an artist.”

Together, they joined
all of creation
in one voice
and one symphony:

“He is an artist.
We are His art.

“He is our Creator.
We are His creation.

(“This is what
we’ve been trying to tell you
all along
.”)

— Learn a lesson
from creation,
which teaches us to look,
obey, and follow
He who made us
and saved us.

“We sing His glory!
Won’t you
join us?”

As he was drawing near—already on the way down the Mount of Olives—the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.

Luke 19:37-40

Jesus Breaks the Chains

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

2 Corinthians 3:17 (ESV)

Like slaves, we are born in bondage (Romans 5:12). We are enslaved by our own sin nature, our fears, doubts, and insecurities. We long for love and appreciation. We chase so many things—people and pleasures—to fill those voids. In our minds, “freedom” means doing whatever we want, despite the consequences. Yet, as our lives go on, those chains only grow heavier and harder to break.

However, Jesus came to break those chains, as only He can. We aren’t strong enough to break them ourselves. Jesus is. His death and resurrection proved once and for all that we are free. Free from sin and the entrapping of the devil. Free from fear. Free from pleasing other people. Free from judgment.

We need not serve Him with a slavish fear, but may confidently approach the throne of grace (Hebrews 4:16). We have the awesome privilege of calling out to Him as our “Abba Father.”

The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”

Romans 8:15

Our sin and shame no longer define us. Christ has made us new (2 Corinthians 5:17). He has removed our sins from us as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12). We no longer need to seek the approval or acceptance of men, for we seek to please the King. It’s in Him we find our identity and purpose.

Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.

Galatians 1:10

In Christ, you will find a freedom which you will never find in this world. The freedom to live, breathe, and soar on wings like eagles (Isaiah 40:31). You will find joy, peace, and fulfillment. We are no longer slaves—not to fear, sin, death, Satan, doubt, shame, or our pasts.

In Christ, we have freedom—not to sin, but from it. The freedom to live for God. The freedom to come near to Him in an intimate relationship.

Christ paid the highest price to set us free (1 Peter 1:18-19). Live in that freedom.