“The Meantime” is a Gift

One of the hardest/most exciting places to be as a Christian is the meantime between a step of faith and a breakthrough. Taking the step is exhilarating, it makes you feel alive and proud of yourself for taking it. Getting the breakthrough is even more exciting, it’s why you take the step. It’s a testimony, tangible evidence that God moved. I am all about taking risks, acts of faith, and all the rush that comes with it. You could also consider me a huge fan of the breakthrough. The part I’m not so fond of, however, is the meantime.

What’s “The meantime?”The second directly after you’ve taken a step of faith and all the goosebumps wear off.

It’s the “now what?” section of the process. It’s the constant, bugging, itching reminder that nothing’s happened… yet. Supposedly.  In the Christian life, there will be plenty of times where risky acts of faith are met with an immediate breakthrough. Praise Jesus for those. I could always use more of those. But can it all be that way? I mean, what kind of Christian would you be if every act of faith was an immediate breakthrough? I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest that I probably would think that it had something to do with my excellence if that were the case. I’m not sure how much my character would be shaped by life like that.

Some of my most valuable lessons came in the meantime.

Meantime is gut-check time. Faith time. Meantime is close-to-His-heart-get-to-know-Him time. The tough answer to this idea of breakthrough is that it can’t always be immediate. I believe faith always gets rewarded. Sometimes, the reward is delayed a little. Not for punishment, not because He is mean, but more important than getting rewards is getting to know the Rewarder. In fact, that is the ultimate reward. So for those of you in meantime land, make it your goal to not chase the breakthrough, but to simply use this time to get to know Him. After all, He is a rewarder of those that diligently seek Him. Get so lost in Him that you forget about the time waiting for your breakthrough. It just might pop up when you least expect it.

When you haven’t received an answer yet, the hardest thing to do is to not focus on what God isn’t doing.

The fact that breakthrough has not manifested is hard to ignore. If I will learn to focus on Him, and what He’s doing now, I believe that is what shapes me to actually handle the breakthrough when it comes. The meantime is a gift. It’s a way to make sure your breakthrough doesn’t break you. By focusing on Him in the transition between faith and the manifestation of the answer, I may even expedite the breakthrough. Keep in mind though, that sometimes you can focus all you want and your answer will just take time. Don’t focus on Him just to get a breakthrough. Focus on Him because you want to know Him more through the process. That’s why we get the privilege of facing various trials in life so that in all those different processes we can know who He is in another way.

I was driving on the highway one afternoon and I passed a billboard showing how high the payout had become for winning the Lottery. I had been facing a lot of financial pressure, and I had the passing thought that it would be nice to win that lottery. It wasn’t something I stewed on, or really pondered in my heart. Just a passing thought. As soon as the thought began to fade, the Lord interjected with a question, “Would you rather win that lottery or know Me as Provider?” It changed my view on trials from that day forward. I realized that a life lived knowing Him as the Provider was better than winning the lottery if my perspective was eternal. The richness of knowing Him could not be replaced by any amount of money. Though it would be nice, and I believe He wants to bless me, I would not trade all the cash in the world for the times when I have been up against a wall with no answers and He broke in with a miraculous supply of funds.

I may not know Him as the Provider to the degree that I do had I not faced some trials. He made sure in those situations that there was no doubt in my mind that it had to be Him. I know Him better because my breakthrough hasn’t always come immediately. I want to know Him in all things, and sometimes that means shutting off all sources until the only answer is Him.

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