On a recent Sunday, I listened to a sermon on Luke 7:11-17. This is the account of Jesus’ visit to the village of Nain. There He happened upon a funeral procession. A widow was burying her only son. Jesus stepped forward to the funeral bier. He touched that dead young man, restored his life, and presented him alive to his grieving mother.
In my mind’s eye, I pictured this scene. Since touching a corpse made a person ceremonially unclean, I saw a space between the corpse and the mourners. Jesus stepped into that space. He stepped into the in-between space and performed a miracle.
I pondered that idea in my head—the in-between space. I am in an in-between space as I thought about it. I am in a transition. I feel sort of like I am in the space we experience as we sometimes enter businesses. You pass one set of doors and, a step or two further, you pass through another set of doors. I am aware of one hand letting one door close as my other hand is reaching for the next door handle. I am aware of leaving one space and entering another but for the moment, I am in-between. I leave a familiar environment and step toward a less familiar environment. I am in the in-between.
The Bible is full of people in the in-between spaces. In Deuteronomy, Moses was in the in-between space, out of the wilderness and seeing over the Jordan River into the Promised Land. As Abraham journeyed south from Haran to a country God would show him, he was in the in-between. For years, after Samuel had anointed him as the new king, David waited in the in-between until God would give him the throne. Paul in Acts 16:6-8 was prevented by the Spirit to preach the gospel but with a vision of the Macedonian man, he realized that he was in between Asia and Europe. He was letting go of one door and reaching for the next door.
I began to realize that Jesus has always stepped into the in-between spaces we find in our lives. Brainstorm your life with me and see if you remember some of these in-between spaces:
- Jesus is in between life and death.
- Jesus is in between our time and space and eternity.
- Jesus is in between disease and health.
- Jesus is in between lack and provision.
- Jesus is in between unbelief and belief.
- Jesus is in between hell and heaven.
- Jesus is in between condemnation and justification.
- Jesus is in between the past and the future.
- Jesus is in between the known and the unknown.
- Jesus is in between brokenness and wholeness.
- Jesus is in between lostness and salvation.
- Jesus is in between guilt and innocence.
- Jesus is in between slavery to sin and freedom in Him.
- Jesus is in between who we are and who Jesus desires us to be.
Are you in an in-between space? What are you leaving? What are you entering? If you are in the in-between space, look around. Jesus is with you. You may think you are closing one door and opening another, but you may realize that Jesus’ hands are on those doors.
How do we walk through the in-betweens in our lives? I am learning this skill afresh. I know that as 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, I am new in Christ. Old things are gone, and all things become new. Sounds like a time of in-between to me.
Jesus gives us hope and we can cling to His hope. In Jeremiah 29:11 God told his people that His plan for them was for their good. That was the hope.
While the in-between spaces can be stressful, Paul reminded the Philippians in Philippians 4:6-7 that we need not be anxious because we can make our needs known to God and He will guard our hearts and minds in Jesus Christ. Notice that. Hearts and minds are the places of worry and fear. God guards us when the in-between spaces threaten our peace.
Whenever you find yourself in the in-between, look around and look in your Bible. Jesus is there, too.