Living In Time Between The Times

Hope delayed makes the heart sick;

Longing fulfilled is a tree of life. -Proverbs 13:12

We are always living in time between the times. We have a past and a future. We have losses in our past and dreams for our future. The non-fulfillment of our dreams can make us feel tired and even beat up.

Getting a promise, a dream, or a word from God that speaks of something good and special for you is a blessing. We are very uplifted and encouraged. God has moved in our lives. We feel like we have connected with our purpose. Hallelujah! Worship is an ease and a joy. We might even call people and tell them about the message, invitation, or promised blessing from God that we believe has been revealed to us.

But, the first challenge for us is when it dawns on us that there will be a waiting period between our reception of the word and it's reality in our life. I had to learn this. When you really see, really hear, or have a real dream from God it is so exciting. In the excitement, I would always forget, for the moment, the many stories of waiting between personal prophecies and fulfillment; like Abraham or Joseph. Hope kept getting deferred. Proverbs 13:12 reflects this experience, of unrelenting disappointment, as The Message has it translated, that can sicken our hearts.

But when the promise finally comes, our lives can turn around: it is a tree of life. Earlier in Proverbs, it says that wisdom is a tree of life. The tree of life is first found at the beginning, in the book of Genesis. The Tree of Life was at the center of Eden. Jesus Christ is meant to be the center of our lives today. As Adam and Eve ate from The Tree of Life, we need to eat from Christ. We need to consume and internalize Christ who is our life. He is The Life-giver and the Life-saver. We are dependent on continually consuming from Christ at the center. He came that we might have life and abundant life.

Remember that there were two trees in the garden of Eden. The other tree was the forbidden one: The Tree of The Knowledge of Good and Evil. It was also at the center of the garden. The two trees and their fruit continue to challenge all of mankind today and they reveal the dichotomy between the kingdom of evil and the kingdom of God (There were Two Trees in the Garden, Rick Joyner, page 9). .

In our time of waiting, the Holy Spirit stands beside us, as the helper, the counselor, the comforter; and also stands in the future where our word is fulfilled. The Spirit of God forms us into the shape of the promise and gets us ready to wear it. Our home work in the waiting room is to walk with God and let him form us into the person who receives the promise. It is a time of transformation and preparation. Between the old and the new is the desert. Between the mountain where you received the word and the mountain where it becomes reality is a valley.

We might get heartbroken along the way. We might sin or be sinned against. We might go through serious discipline. We might go the opposite way like Jonah. Whatever your story is, you might be hurting. Disciples hurt and weep. Hosea endured tremendous heartbreak in his life from following God's prophetic instructions and he wrote the song:

"Come, let’s return to the Lord;

for it is he who has injured us and will heal us;

he has struck us down, but he will bind us up.

After two days he will revive us;

on the third day he will raise us up,

so that we may live before him.

Let’s know, let’s press on to know the Lord;

whose appearing is as certain as the dawn;

who will come to us like the showers,

like the spring rains that give drink to the earth.”

-Hosea 6:1-3

In between time people are sometimes brokenhearted. We feel like God has hurt us and knocked us down in our disappointments. Hosea was a brokenhearted man and he wrote that God has injured us and knocked us down, but he says that God is going to heal us, that God is still faithful. So, he says, let's press on to know the Lord. This is the essence of the in-between-time. It is painful, but press on to know the Lord. You don't "gut it out" on your own strength. You don't harden your heart and wait for the end of the world. You believe in God's faithfulness to come and to heal you and bind up your broken heart. You press on to know the Lord. That's intimacy with God, your secret history with God, communing with God.

The antidote for heart sickness is to return to the source. Ask questions. Walk and talk with the dream-giver. Partner with God, working out what He works in (Phil. 2:12-13). Look at God and let God transform you (2 Cor. 3:17-18). If you (when you) find authentic fellowship, those brothers and sisters will affirm and confirm your dreams and encourage you. They will weep with you and cheer you on as you walk with God.