When the God led Moses and the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt, they were in the Sinai Desert for forty years. This was the land between slavery and promise – the land between. As the pastor at church yesterday preached, I felt both called out and given hope about this land between. I am in a season of questioning, sadness and sometimes frustration. I see where I want to get, its just taking patience to get there. As the pastor preached, I felt like my mind continued to be blown. He said the land between is fertile ground for 1) emotional meltdowns and complaining 2) God’s provision, mercy and generosity 3) discipline 4) transformational growth.
This past week, and a couple other times this summer, I’ve gotten so bogged down in my emotions and my current reality that I forgot some important truths and turned to complaining and being a complete brat. I’m just like Moses in the book of Numbers when he says that He’d rather die than face more of what he was dealing with. I’m not that big of drama queen, but I’ve felt like telling God, “okay, enough already, I’m done with this.” If I get caught on the deserty part of the land between, I leave no opportunities for God to show up, provide for me, grow me and transform me. The transition from slave to heir is not an easy one. For the Israelites, it took at least forty years. God must refine us so that we can be taken into the land of promise without it destroying us.
As I reflect on my last year, there’s been quite a few months spent in the land between, and lots of valuable lessons learned there. Last July I wasn’t aware of most of the bondage I was in. I was a slave to friends, to money, to ideas of a relationship, to academics and to expectations. Because God loves me and wants me to experience the fullness of what it means to be a daughter of His, He has brought me to the land between a number of times in the last 12 months. It is in this place that once I get past the desire to complain and give into my fleshly desires for comfort that I receive the opportunity to see God show up and provide for my every need. It is in this place that I become more disciplined and more trusting of His goodness. It is in this place where I can be transformed. Just as Romans 12:2 says, transformation is necessary for discernment of God’s will. The more I am transformed, the better I will be able to walk in God’s ways. The more I am transformed, the more I am able to obey God and love Him, and that is worth the patience, discipline and trust it takes to stay in the land between.