In The Meantime
As most of you will know, there are two main words in the Bible for time – Chronos: which is often related to hours and minutes and Kairos: which many have interpreted to apply best to time as in, opportunity, right moment, appointed time or season.
As I was returning from overseas following a time away on ministry, I was thinking about time as it related to my own fellowship in Sleaford and the things that God is doing among us at this time. Things promised and things anticipated. As I thought about God’s time of promising certain things (Chronos) and measured it in relation to his time of fulfilment Kairos, I realised that there is a third time that is vitally important and that is the ‘meantime’.
I realised that how you handle the ‘in-between time’ when God ‘says’ and when God ‘does’, will determine whether you get a very mean time, that is full of pain, frustration, doubt and negativity or you get on with what is needed in the meantime so it stays a dreamtime.
As I was sitting on a plane over the Atlantic on Maundy Thursday my thoughts were naturally focused on Easter and I realised that I would not be the first to be challenged by the ‘meantime.’
- Peter wanted to go back to fishing. Often while we wait we get tempted to go back to how things were before, but how could life ever be the same after three years with Jesus. Do you want to go back to the mundane of what was or still choose to believe for what can be?
- Women wanted to tidy up the loose ends i.e. they wanted to anoint his body for burial. Do you want to neatly bury the dream and cover over the steps of faith you have already taken?
- Thomas, full of doubt that the situation could change, wouldn’t believe unless he touched the wounds. Do you ever get to the place where it just all becomes too much to believe for and you wonder’, ‘did God really say’?’
- Two went to feed their flesh at Emmaus (means a Place of hot springs). Maybe visit the casino (Romans would surely have taken advantage of the hot water spa), have a few drinks and pick up a couple of ladies of the night. I don’t know but I’m glad Jesus made sure they didn’t get there.
Do you begin to feel sorrow for yourself in the ‘meantime’ and feel ‘you deserve it?’ Don’t be like Esau who sold what could have been for a bowl full of self-pity stew.
But actually the good news is that although their reaction to the ’meantime’ was not good they learned great lessons of faith so that the next ‘meantime’ would be different i.e. between ascension and coming of the promise of the Holy Spirit. This time they didn’t doubt, look back or accepted it would never happen. Now we find that ‘When the day of Pentecost came, they were ALL TOGETHER IN ONE PLACE’. No one missed him; no one had to be fetched back from the lake.
Whatever your ‘meantime’ keep a right attitude and it will become the ‘set time’ for His promises to be fulfilled. Be there when it happens!