Several years ago, a young quarterback entered into the NFL draft. He was invited to and attended the draft because he was expected to be one of the first few picks in the draft. The first pick was called, it wasn’t him, and the next pick came, still not his name. The young man sat in anguish as he saw many of his peers being called, while team after team rolled by. Most of the teams that the experts believed needed a quarterback had passed. With every passing pick, more and more money was lost from his future paycheck. Finally, at pick number 24, he heard his name. The team that called his name didn’t need a quarterback though because they had a legend filling that spot. The young quarterback was excited to be picked but had to wonder if he would ever get to play.
Time went on, he had to wait for four seasons, but his time finally came.
Many of you may know that I am talking about Aaron Rodgers of the Champion Green Bay Packers.
We all have those times in our life, for most of us, “those times” are much worse than waiting anxiously to play football at the professional level. They are times of grief, times of waiting, times of confusion, times of chaos.
I have to admit, life right now is great for me. There are a lot of things going well for me, and yet, I am struggling. On the surface everything seems wonderful, yet I find myself in kind of a wilderness spiritually. I know it has nothing to do with God moving away from me, nothing to do with me becoming evil, but a lot more of me realizing that I am in an “in between” stage.
Woe is me.
Really, I have been in numerous in between stages throughout my life. I don’t enjoy them, but I am just now beginning to realize to be content in the waiting. That isn’t to say I am not preparing, I am not waiting anxiously, but rather that I am trying to be open and teachable during this time.
I don’t do this well…
…but I am getting better.
I am struggling with listening, slowing down, being wise with my time, resting without being lazy, and things of that nature. Honestly, in this in between time, I am finding out a whole lot about who I am. I can honestly say this is the first in between time that I feel like I am being productive while I wait.
That is a sad statement.
I have found that in the in between times I have usually found myself drifting into mediocrity with my faith. I have found that the things I had such great faith in, matter that God has spoken to me about, became distant while my faith faded. I gave up on what God had spoken to me about. This is easy to do. Lack of patience gives way to fear, fear gives way to frustration, frustration gives way to lethargy, lethargy gives way to depression, depression settles in mediocrity. God is not sought as he once was when we are fresh off our spiritual victory. Now, He is distant…and not sought after.
I have found that these times are when I am shaped for the next battle. It is the training to prepare me to become prepared for the next challenge. I can take this time to sit back and become a spiritual glutton, meaning I take in spiritual “food” but I do nothing with it, or I can seek God with the understanding that the battle is coming and I want to be ready for whatever it may be. I can grow, become stronger, wiser, more in tune with His Spirit, bask in the undeserved love that He pours out or I can fret over matters that I cannot control anyway.
Some of our in betweens are much harder than others. Some in betweens are recovering from the death of someone close to us, some is a very real bout with depression, and some are just God making us wait because He wants us to learn something before He opens the door to that very victory we are seeking. In between times can be tough.
For me, sometimes the in between is tougher than the battles, but maybe the in between is my battle.
Just something I have been thinking about recently.
I pray, for all of us who may be in the in between times right now, that we would seek God and have a teachable heart to learn the lessons he wants us to learn. We would lay our lives before Him ready to be transparent, approaching with a humble heart, knowing that we are speaking to the almighty God. He loves us with an unconditional love, as His child, and wants us to be prepared for whatever life will throw at us. He has given us His Spirit, to guide and direct us, may we listen and rely on what He is telling us. May our trust grow so we may be better prepared for the calling He has placed on our lives and stand ready for the time He has chosen to use us to glorify His name.
Aaron Rodgers waited, it was out of his control, 23 other teams passed him over in the draft. If you look over the list of players picked before him, none has had the impact that he has had. If any of those teams had picked Rodgers earlier, it may not have turned out the same way for him. Now, looking back, Rodgers is thankful that things turned out the way they did. I can do the same, I can look back and thank God that He is who He is and has my best interest at heart.