In the middle. It’s a place of vulnerability, of uncertainty, of waiting.
The middle doesn’t have the splash of excitement that the beginning does, nor does it possess the revelation that the ending holds.
It’s in the middle of the book that we bite our nails after we’re already invested in the characters. It’s typically in the middle of a road trip that the wheels start to fall off the bus. It’s in the middle of the night that our fears and past regrets keep us up until dawn.
Yet, it’s also the middle that holds the catalyst for change, for growth, for enlightenment.
The Gospel of Mark tells us of a time when the disciples were at sea while Jesus was still on land. “When evening came, the boat was in the middle of the sea, and He was alone on the land. He saw them being battered as they rowed, because the wind was against them.“
They were in the middle of the sea, battered down, and Jesus could clearly see them, yet He delays coming to their rescue. In fact, the next verse tells us that it wasn’t until around 3 AM that He finally stepped out onto the water to help them. That’s a lot of rowing into the wind.
I wonder if any of you are in the boat with the disciples in this moment. You’ve been doing everything that you are advised to do, complying with every mandate, even at the detriment to your livelihood, your emotional or physical health, your relationships. And now you’re completely worn out from all the rowing. You don’t know where exactly in the middle you are, but all you know is that you’re ready for Jesus to show up.
I’m right there with you. I’m feeling weary and battered too and would love nothing more than for this all to be over. It’s the not knowing of where we are in the middle of this pandemic that frustrates me the most.
But here’s the hope: Jesus did show up for the disciples in the middle of that night. In fact, He walked on water to get to them and they were terrified all the more. But then Jesus spoke to them saying, “Have courage. It is I. Don’t be afraid.” And I love this next part: “He got into the boat with them, and the wind ceased.“
Friend, I don’t know what the immediate future holds, but I do believe that He has His eyes on us and all our rowing has not gone unnoticed. He knows the struggles we are enduring, but He also observes that our muscles are building as we keep praying and seeking His face. He understands our uncertainty, but He also perceives how our faith is growing as we trust in Him.
In His perfect timing the wind will begin to cease and the revelation will come. Until then, take courage because He is with us…even in the middle.