We soared through the air, our legs dangling over an ocean that could swallow us up with barely a ripple of acknowledgement. We tried to enjoy the view: the multi-colored landscape, buildings scattered across the island, the water below us marbled with different shades of blue and green, white waves breaking 400 feet beneath us. We spoke reassuring words to each other, remembering my brother-in-law’s assessment that it’s “no scarier than a ferris wheel.” I wasn’t sure I agreed.
Several minutes into our parasailing adventure, I turned to my sister and said, “Once we’re sitting in that boat, this will be the coolest thing we have ever done.”
Statistically speaking, I knew the outcome would be good. But there were just enough unknowns, however unlikely they were, to keep my stomach flip-flopping. Would the rope break? Would the parachute rip? Would the harness fail and send us free-falling into the sea?
Once we were on the boat, these questions would be answered. With the answers would come peace and certainty. In the meantime, I tried to relax and trust the parasailing operators, whose names I didn’t even know.
What do your answer-less places feel like to you? Maybe you feel stuck between two cliffs, not sure where to put your hands and feet next as you try to climb to safety. Maybe you feel lost in a tunnel, clutching a faint lantern and hoping you’re walking toward the exit.
If you haven’t been there already, you will be one day: the difficult, in-between place. You’ve been ripped from a worry-free life, where you enjoyed certainty and answers. You no longer have your present and future figured out. You’ve been thrown into a place of hardship, struggle, and darkness. You have more questions than answers.
And yet, we have hope through the hardship. There is a glimmer of light, reminding us that God’s promises are true. One day, we may have answers on this earth and see the purpose in our suffering. Or we may be asked to wait until we see Him face-to-face and the light of His glory melts our questions away.
In the meantime, how do we live in the near-darkness of the in-between place? If you’re like me, there are some days when your lantern burns brightly, and you’re convinced God’s promises are true. Other days, you fear the flame might die completely as you struggle to trust what doesn’t feel true at all.
The in-between place is a place of tension. We trust and we doubt. We are filled with peace and still fear. We know God is good but our circumstances are anything but good. We clamor to cling to Christ with slippery fingers.
Friend, I’ve lived in that tension. I’m right back there sometimes. Each time I visit the dark, uncertain tunnel, the Lord uses the tension to grow my trust in Him. My lantern grows a bit brighter the next time.
When I was in the air, I believed the men on the boat were parasailing operators. But I didn’t trust that they were safe until I’d lived through the tension of unanswered questions and landed on my bottom on the back of that boat. In a similar way, God works in the in-between place, transforming our belief into trust. He holds us even when we doubt and fear, and He nudges us a little closer to faith that doesn’t need answers to thrive.
Are you walking in the tunnel? Are you stuck in the in-between place, craving answers? Let’s wrestle through it together.
If you lived near me, I’d bring you a pan of enchiladas (the only decent meal I can make). I’d sit and listen to your struggles and questions. I’d share my own, letting you know you’re not alone. And I’d gently point you to the light of God’s promises. I’d remind you that even though the in-between place is hard—so hard—it is not permanent. And you are not alone.
I can’t bring you enchiladas, but I’ll bring all the good I can: God’s true, unchanging promises. I hope to point you to Him and help your lantern of faith burn a little brighter as you struggle through your in-between place.Share