I have spent my life reading various stories in the Bible. Stories about Moses, Abraham, David, Joseph…pick one. In each story, God makes his presence known in some way; then a period of time passes before God’s promise comes to fruition. In a matter of minutes, I can read the entire experience. But a lot of life happens between the chapters. Often years have passed between hearing God’s voice and the recipient receiving the promised blessing. It’s the day in and day out decisions that are lived between the chapters that I haven’t noticed.
Now that we’re nearing the halfway mark of our 7th month and day 194, I’ve realized that my family is living life between the chapters. We have seen one chapter conclude with God saving Chris’s life and covering our family’s immediate needs, but we haven’t yet started the next chapter of healing, joy, prosperity or restoration. In the beginning of our story, we were surrounded with more help than we knew how to use, but then we ended that chapter. Our family’s chaotic life continued in the silent space between our last chapter and our future, yet unwritten, chapter while everyone else’s understandably carried on.
I have found myself wondering if this is how Joseph felt the 2 years he spent in jail in Egypt. He knew God had given him a vision, but instead of it coming to realization, he was imprisoned for a crime he did not commit. He must have felt alone and forgotten; but still having to live life imprisoned, did he wonder if this was really part of God’s plan? Did he stay up nights wondering if he made the right choice? Did he struggle with worries about what the future held? Did he walk through this silent journey feeling closer to God than he had before or was there a daily struggle to trust that God saw him even here?
I believe that one day we will see healing, restoration, and joy return to this family, but in this place of waiting it’s hard to imagine. It’s hard to watch our needs grow and help diminish. It’s hard to believe that God would bring us this far only to let our family’s needs outpace His blessings. I find myself trying to balance between trusting God will provide as He has promised and questioning every choice I’ve made along the way and wondering what the ‘right’ choice is to make now.
Life between the chapters is hard. It’s lonely. Life in this silent, unseen space is where I think God is likely growing me the most. Refinement is taking place as I learn to push past my hurts, my fears, my anger and lean into Him even more. I look forward to one day looking back, as Joseph must’ve, and being eternally thankful to God for giving me a vision of where He would take me to sustain me during this space.
I don’t know where you’re living life right now. Maybe you’re experiencing the beginning of a new story filled with hope and God’s promises? Maybe you’re living out the fulfillment of all you have prayed for? Or maybe, just maybe, you’re walking life in between the chapters where it’s deafeningly quiet and life is hard. Wherever you’re residing, know God is still there and still faithful. Even in prison, “the LORD was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favor..” Genesis 39:21.
If this journey has taught me anything, it’s that the people in the Bible weren’t uniquely special and the same God that was with Joseph and showed him kindness and favor is that same God who is with me. Keep pressing in…keep moving forward…eventually, God’s promises WILL come to pass in both our lives.