God of the In-between Spaces
However, lately, I have found myself bogged-down by a sense of disappointment and longing. On one hand, I feel frustrated and confused by much of the world. Observing the continued fighting in Ukraine and rising tensions across international fronts, I can’t help but yearn for a sense of stability that I think ought to be present, but is not. This yearning translates into a deep desire for simplicity, for something that I can easily wrap my brain around without having to resort to some form of cognitive dissonance. In other words: I want life and this world to make sense.
Despite my longing for simplicity and understanding, I find that I must be content with not having all the answers. There are some things in life that have no explanation. They are clumsy and uncomfortable. They leave us with no easy answer or way forward. While these things leave us frustrated and discontent, attempting to solve them through simplistic formulations of faith are unhelpful, and at times, harmful. In moments such as these, we often try to speak for God. We say things like, “God wants to teach you patience” or “This is part of the Lord’s plan for you.” I understand why we say these things: we want to help! We want to give our friends and family hope. We want to reassure them that everything will be alright.
The problem, of course, is that everything doesn’t always end up alright. Sometimes, an
experience can leave us feeling hopeless. We lose a loved one or friend. We are laid off from work. A promotion or relocation doesn’t pan out. We are given difficult news from our doctor. In situations like these, our gut reaction may be to give a response that satisfies our desire for simplicity and understanding. Friends, we must fight the urge to do so.
On the cross, Jesus reveals himself to be the God of the “in-between-spaces.” On the cross, Jesus is the One who stands in-between the hopelessness of death and the fantasy of cheap platitudes. In Christ, God demonstrates that there are no easy answers. The answer given on the cross is marked by a willingness on God’s part to stand amidst the uncertainty and confusion of death. In that place, where we so often find ourselves seeking understanding, we are given the hope that we are not alone. For us,
that must be enough.
So, what shall we do as we stand in these confusing moments? We find hope in the cross. We hold to the promises of God. We trust that He will lead us through the uncertainties and ambiguities of this life, and He will serve as our strength when we are weak. In this knowledge, we can declare with the psalmist:
“This is the day that the LORD has made; I will rejoice and be glad in it.”
Let us rejoice in Him!
2/21/2023 03:14:05 pm
Thank you McLane for not only sharing your ‘regular guy’ desire for certainty and simplicity in such confusing and painful times, but more so for the encouragement to still ourselves and recognize the gift of focusing our faith through those (gray) ‘in- between spaces’.
2/21/2023 03:16:41 pm
You are amazing for such a young guy! I appreciate you.
2/21/2023 03:57:05 pm
Thank you so much for sharing these encouraging words in such a troubling time for our world. Your insights remind us that God is by side every moment of the day.
2/21/2023 06:53:25 pm
Very well said pastor.
2/21/2023 10:10:31 pm
Such good words to remember these days. I really appreciate your wise words! Jody Wilson
2/22/2023 08:58:34 pm
A rapidly deteriorating body but - thank God - a brain/mind that still works!
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