Often in our lives, we can find ourselves in between two things. In between churches or in between jobs; in between houses or in between friends; in between diets or in between meals; in between our thoughts of this life and those of the next; the list goes on and on, doesn’t it? (I just reached the point where I wrote out "between" so many times that it now looks weird to me. Does that ever happen to you? Where was I? Oh, yeah, in between thoughts.) If we were to look back and pinpoint the times in our lives when we've been most afraid, confused, or worried, I bet we would notice these were somewhere ‘in between’ in our lives. Specifically, in between what we wanted, hoped, or dreamed was to be God's plan for us, and what we would later find to be His actual plan.
In John 20, Jesus' disciples also found themselves ‘in between,’ and they were just as scared as you or I. They had been traveling all over the land with Jesus, witnessing and taking part in miracle after miracle. They had just spent three years learning from and ministering with Jesus, having faith in Him to be the very Messiah they had studied about in the Torah’s scriptures all of their lives. They surely must have believed they had found their purpose in life: following Jesus and helping Him as directed. But, when He was arrested, they fled while denying Him. When was crucified, they tossed up their hands as if to say, “what do we do now?” They forgot His teachings and thought this is “The End,” right?
After Jesus' death, in John 20:19, it says, "The disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews." They were terrified, confused without purpose! They were ‘in between’ the life they lived with Jesus and the life they were to live after His Resurrection! In between what they thought the plan was and what the resurrected Jesus would again reveal the plan to be.
I bet we can all relate. This is experienced when we feel a loss or a life-threatening illness. One day you have a head full of dreams and plans for your life then the next they're shattered with horrible news. What you thought the plan was is no more. Where you thought you were going, you aren't! It is easy to be afraid while ‘in between,' and that's okay. Don't hide from the truth of your fear of the unknown. The apostles were so scared they locked their doors. I didn't even know they had locks on doors back then.
Maybe there's something we can always remember that can comfort us. Something we can apply to any and all situations. Whenever we find ourselves in between what we thought the plan was and some type of new plan, know that God is never in between plans. When we find ourselves in the in-between, what we're really in between is our guesses for what God is doing in our lives, but God is certainly never in between plans. He is in the plan. He is making the plan work, and He is fulfilling that plan perfectly.
No, God is not “in between” anything. He has one plan for you and one plan for me. That one plan is to walk with Him through life, learning and growing together with Him and others on our walk to eternity. It’s a spiritual walk in a realm we can’t see, but we CAN see evidence of it. It’s a spiritual war; good versus evil! So when life goes haywire, the battle rages and casualties are heavy, and you find yourself in the in-between times remember that He is in the plan. He is making the plan work, and He is fulfilling that plan perfectly. “The same power that raised Christ from the dead dwells in you.” “He gives beauty for ashes, comfort for pain, gladness for sadness in His name.” Trust Him.
John T. Catrett, III serves as a Chaplain with ONHL Hospice. ONHL Hospice currently provides services to the majority of Northeastern Oklahoma but is available to accept patients statewide. Learn more at http://onhlhospice.com.