Betwixt and Between

“The boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by waves.” Matthew 14:24 NKJV.

No storm, however long its duration or severity, can keep you from God’s reach.

My thoughts and comments today are about “betwixt and between.”

Every achievement requires three parts: the commencement, the challenges, and the celebration. Some people start celebrating long before they have actually done anything. The birthing of an idea is exciting and its eventual accomplishment is gratifying; the challenge is all that effort and expenditure necessitated in between. Real life is lived in the middle, mostly betwixt and between commencement and celebration. That’s why there are a disproportionate number of beginnings never fully implemented and never completely realized.

In its broader sense, prosperity is reserved for those who successfully navigate through and beyond the inevitable adversity. Matthew relates this incident; “Jesus made His disciples get into a boat and go before Him to the other side . . the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary. Jesus went to them, walking on the sea.” Matthew 14:22-25 NKJV.

In the middle is where a person often panics, forgetting their destination and failing to expect Jesus there. Answer a few simple questions from the Bible narrative. According to Jesus, what was the disciples’ destination – “the other side [of the lake.]” Where were the disciples right then – “in the boat in the middle of the lake” – not where they had been nor where they would be. What was the difficulty they experienced – “tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary” – not where they expected nor what they expected. What happened to change everything? “Jesus went to them, walking on the sea.”

No storm, however long its duration or severity, can keep you from Him. In the middle of your storm, you can lose sight of Jesus’ words about reaching the other side of the sea. Some years ago, my friend, Amos, challenged me with his description of people “in the middle of a miracle.” The disciples knew they were in a violent storm; they didn’t yet know they were also “in the middle of a miracle.” When you can only see the problem around you, God sees miraculous possibilities for you. Maybe you are in such a moment; be encouraged. In every difficulty, God will be with you. “In all these things we are more than conquerors though Him that loved us . .  [Nothing] will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:37-39 NIV.

In my journey of faith, I have learned this Biblical truth: as Savior and Deliverer, Jesus comes to you on the very element that frightens you. In the middle, you can easily be distracted from the truth that Jesus is Lord and Master over all, at all times, in all situations – “the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Hebrews 13:8 NIV. When Jesus is the commencement of your journey and the celebrant at journey’s end, He will be your companion all along the way. See 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 NIV/Galatians 6:9 NKJV.

As a postlude to the heroes of faith in the preceding chapter, you are included, “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses . . let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the Throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2 NKJV. Jesus, the Author and Finisher of your faith persevered “in the middle.” Jesus endured the cross, despised its shame, and now celebrates your daily victories and eternal salvation.

My prayer for you this day is that you do not lose your way along the journey.