Life’s Blessed Meanwhiles

“Before they call I will answer;
    while they are yet speaking I will hear.” Isaiah 65:24

“While I was speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my plea before the Lord my God… while I was speaking in prayer, the man Gabriel came… saying,.. ‘At the beginning of your pleas for mercy a word went out, and I have come to tell it to you, for you are greatly loved.'” Daniel 9:20-21,23

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,  for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

“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

A friend, awaiting a loved one in the hospital, relayed that meanwhile, the Lord had enabled a constructive conversation with someone concerning a child. Downtime because of a broken bone meanwhile provided time to reflect and be stretched in new ways. A season of unemployment meanwhile opened opportinities to serve, and develop relationships, and hone skills. Omniscient God has His hands in every event and works coincidentally in all our meanwhiles, never confused, and sovereignly orchestrating each one in unison for His good purposes. In the thick of clouds His light burns intentionally and bright.

While we pray, God is answering. As we wait, the Lord is working. He readies people for jobs and job openings for people, and individuals for one another according to His perfect timing. Our God is neither flustered nor confused with managing everyone and everything, events and history, all at the same time, to accomplish His good plans. When we get choked in turbulence, or chafe impatient at waiting, or wonder when some ordeal will be resolved, we can look expectantly for what is occurring meanwhile. Our Lord may be actively stirring up a parallel situation, preparing another’s heart to make a move, or developing maturity that will be needed for next steps. He is trustworthy in all His providential ways.

Where has the Lord carved out a meanwhile, and what have we learned? In the throes of a difficult relationship, what have we meanwhile learned of His unconditional love and unchanging nature, of His merciful forgiveness? In grief, in waiting, in longing, in silence from heaven over repeated prayer, what has God meanwhile revealed about our pride, our idols, our selfishness, our discontent, our impatience? How might He be wanting to change me, or teach me to accept the unchangeable?

Do we expect meaning in a meanwhile? In the trauma of a move, an adjustment to a new job, or the waiting room between symptoms and diagnosis, questions and answers, or effort and results, how is God blessing? Will I risk to ask hard questions, or make myself available? To open myself to His sanctifying discipline? To wait His time? To do all I can to be ready for His next assignment, all the while trusting that He’s doing well what I cannot see? (Hebrews 12:7-11)

Father, please help me rejoice in my present, and in all You so wonderfully do meanwhile to further Your glory and accomplish Your will.

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