God has recently had me on a mission of speaking and believing good words. However, for years, my heart and mind were covered in harsh words towards myself and others. I am not exactly sure why, but somehow, somewhere, critical words crept in. I am beginning to believe the enemy saw this message of good words that God was planning to hand me and the devil just began his tactics of destroying that plan. Did you know God has plans for all of us, good plans that he planned long ago for us? (You can read Jer. 29:11 and Eph. 2:10 for more on that.)
Anyway, the past few years the Lord has been renewing my mind, restoring all the locusts have eaten and placing good words in my heart and mind. I have been on a path to restore what comes out of my mouth as well. However, recently, my mouth has wreaked havoc on some folks in my life. Just in the last week, I hurt the hearts of my dearest people with just a few sentences. My husband told me it’s amazing how we can destroy something we have been working so hard to build. It’s so true. Proverbs 18:21 says “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” The next day, still grieved over what I had done, God revealed one of his stories to me that ministered to this soft, sad spot in my heart. I woke very early and could not go back to sleep. I landed on the quiet couch with some coffee, my Bible and my Words Journal.
I began reading the story of Jacob in Genesis 28. Jacob’s journey is a long, hard one. God makes Jacob many promises, and Jacob names the town where the promises occurred, Bethel, which means “House of God.” In a dream at Bethel, God tells Jacob He will give him this land, bless his descendants, always be with him, protect him, and bring him safely back to Bethel. The last part of verse 15 is my favorite: “I will be with you constantly until I have finished giving you everything I have promised.”
In reading Jacob’s story, two things stood out to me: 1. Jacob believed God at His word and 2. He never forgot the promises God made him. We go on a journey with Jacob through chapters 29-35 until he returns to Bethel safely, just as God promised. In these chapters, I saw that Jacob endure much strife in the in-between: In between Bethel and Bethel, until God finished this work. However, Jacob never doubts God’s goodness or forgets His promises.
Jacob’s in-between looked like this: Jacob meets God and receives many promises, Jacob marries a woman he doesn’t love, Jacob marries again to the woman he really loved, Jacob is deceived and stolen from many times by his father-in-law, Jacob’s daughter is raped by a prince and his sons murder the rapist and the members of the prince’s town. During all of these long, sometimes difficult years, Jacob continues to work hard, press in, trust God, encounter God and declare God’s promises over him…until he finally makes it back to Bethel. There were at least 20 years from Bethel to Bethel for Jacob. The in-between: From the promises made until the promises fulfilled.
The in-between, the waiting, or until. I feel so in-between. I know God has promised me something, to renew my mind, to use my words for His glory. But I’m still in the in between, still learning how to love others and myself well with my words, still making mistakes. But I must remember God’s promise to me despite the in-between, the waiting. Just like Jacob. He endured such hardship and strife in the in-between. But he continued to encounter God and he continued to remember and declare the promises of God.
Do you any of you feel like you’re in the in-between? You know God has promised you something (Bethel) but you haven’t arrived to see the promised fulfilled? (Bethel.) Don’t give up, don’t stop believing or declaring. Don’t stop taking time to encounter God. God is in the in-between, he’s in the waiting!
Genesis 28:15- “I will be with you constantly until I have finished giving you everything I have promised.”
A friend of mine who has walked the in-between well sent me this song by Bethel Music the other day. I think it’s perfect for us while we are waiting… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r49V9QcYheQ