The Space Between...
These continue to be interesting, troubling and difficult days. Here in Alberta, just when we think we have begun to move past the worst of the COVID pandemic, we hear our Provincial Chief Medical Officer this week report grim details, growing numbers of cases, outbreaks, and the ominous words, “Alberta’s curve is no longer flat.”
Still, we longingly look toward tomorrow in anticipation of getting back to normal. Some sectors have already begun to resume near-normal operation while others are still unable to do in the interest of public safety. Others still have had reopening plans delayed because of these recent developments. These are tough days to lead in, and I certainly solicit your prayers for my leadership, and for my leaders!
I’ve shared personally how I’m ready to move on from this season of life. But it seems every time my patience wears thin and I think things are on the cusp of movement, I receive news of another outbreak, of growing numbers of cases and am reminded of the contagious and threatening nature of this virus. And so, we wait; we distance………..and we wait.
Now, waiting is not something that should be a new concept to God’s People – it’s a spiritual truth! Scripture is blatant about the concept of ‘waiting.’ Waiting is hard, but there is something sacred about the space that waiting creates – God moves as we wait upon Him. A recent search of the words, ‘wait’ and ‘Lord,’ reveal no less than 30 instances where people were told to wait on (or for) the Lord. The Psalmist in particular reminds us of this importance. And so, we choose to faithfully wait upon the Lord.
As Christians, we are also told to anticipate what tomorrow will bring and to look joyfully toward what comes next! In Matthew 24:42 and in Luke 21:36, Jesus specifically says to live anticipating His return, being watchful, alert and ready. Much of Paul’s writing to the early Christian church is essentially a manual on how to live in the interim period of awaiting Christ’s return (1 Cor. 16:13; 1 Thes. 5:8 for example), and serves as a reminder that we are living today for so much more than what we see around us.
So, I can’t help but think that as Christians, we ought to be experts in understanding the importance of waiting, the excitement of anticipating, and the reality of living in the tension of the space between. That’s the reality of our earthly life.
Philippians 3:17-21 warns us and reminds us, “Dear brothers and sisters, pattern your lives after mine, and learn from those who follow our example. For I have told you often before, and I say it again with tears in my eyes, that there are many whose conduct shows they are really enemies of the cross of Christ. They are headed for destruction. Their god is their appetite, they brag about shameful things, and they think only about this life here on earth. But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control.
As we all wait for tomorrow and the return to a life free from the dangers of COVID, let’s not forget that in the big picture, we wait for something so much better. Christ has come and brought Salvation – and He will return to bring us into our heavenly home. Until then, let’s embrace the spiritual space between – living for and with Christ today, while holding bright hope for tomorrow.
Stay safe in the space between!