The Mean Time

20131207-224732.jpg

The saying goes something like this: “I’ve prayed and asked God to help me with thus and so…in the meantime, I’m not sure what to do.”

Sound familiar?

Have you had “mean time” moments? If so, you will probably agree that the “mean time” can be extremely mean; filled with pressure, worry, and disappointment. But those times cannot be avoided; they are part of the faith process, as described in Galatians 6:

“Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.” (Galatians 6:7-10 ESV)

The process: do good, mean time, due season. Or as a farmer would say: plant the seed, wait, harvest the crop.

Petition God, wait in faith, realize the answer.

We don’t really have a problem with the first part or the last. Do good? Easy. Plant the seed? Gotta do it. And of course, we all enjoy harvesting the long anticipated crop.

But there’s that mean, nasty, ugly waiting time. How does one make it through that period all the way to “due season”?

Well, first of all, don’t quit doing good. Don’t be so focused on how tough it is to wait. Instead, continue to remind yourself of God’s faithfulness, and the certainty of the process. That’s what Abraham did.

“For when God made a promise to Abraham, since he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself, saying, “Surely I will bless you and multiply you.” And thus Abraham, having patiently waited, obtained the promise.” (Hebrews 6:13-15 ESV)

Patience will endure the mean time when you mix joy with it. “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (James 1:2-4 ESV)

Joy will stay within your reach when you keep your eyes on the prize, just like Jesus did.

“…looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2 ESV)

The cross wasn’t a joyous occasion for Jesus. It was “a mean time” for Him. He had to endure all that the forces of darkness could throw at Him. The joy in front of Him was the resurrection, the destruction of the devil’s authority, and the liberation of Adam’s race. So His focus was on the joy, not the pain of enduring.

And that is where we need to focus when we’re in the midst of “the mean time”.

Our faith will ALWAYS be tested and tried. No one gets a free pass through the mean time. But “due season” is just as certain!

You can count on it!

How are you holding up during your “mean time”? Are you finding the joy you need, or are you about to be buried?

By the way, it’s okay to ask for help.