Have you ever found a part or a piece of something and you can’t figure out what it belongs to? You recognize the piece, but without the rest, it feels out of place. I had a moment like this, recently. A little white “doohickey” was sitting, day after day, on the kitchen counter and no one was claiming it. Leaving it out, I was hoping someone would pick it up and take it away. I would pick it up, look it over, hold it, yet I was no closer to identifying where it belonged. I knew it belonged to something. I could almost picture it. It was part of something bigger, and not complete without the rest of it. Yet, I only had the small little piece. There was something more– something to make more sense of it.
Walking in the “in-between”
Life is full of parts. We get glimpses and pieces, which point to something more; however, we don’t get the whole thing– not yet.
Seeing in part
Walking in the “in-between” isn’t easy. There are many good things to experience and enjoy, yet some days I long for answers. Today, I sit on my patio and though it is bright and sunny outside, I want to see much better. There are the nagging questions about what to do next, or what decisions to make, etc. Today I want clarity, but I feel uncertain. I want peace but I am restless. I want an answer, yet I have question marks. I can’t see fully. It is more like I am in a dimly lit room, than out in a bright, sunny day. I know there is more to see, and more going on than I can comprehend.
For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in parts, but then I will be fully known. 1Corinthians 13”12
Enjoying the parts each day
Ok, that was a couple days ago and now it is raining– raining and raining. I do love the rain. One drop, of course is not enough for my lawn and flowerbed or for the feel of “coziness” that I love. I am thankful God isn’t the “one tiny drop” kind of God, with His love. His love, grace and mercy are more like a shower. But do I see it? As I sat and listened to one of my boys this morning, I was reminded of the tangible ways God cares for me and loves me– through them. I witness many pieces of His love and there is so much more to come.
In the middle of a story
Faith is also noticing the parts and trusting there is more to come. The parts are like little deposits to something greater. It is like being at a cliffhanger in a story, and for some reason needing to wait for the resolution… just one more page, or two please. I am the witness of an unfinished story, but where am I in the story. How much longer will these parts last? The reality is, some days I would rather skip, skim or cut out the part of the story I am in. “How can this part be valuable? Will it go away? Will I ever feel lighter again?”
“For power is perfected in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
Faith is resting in and trusting God’s power and ways are at work. The in-between displays His power.
One day not too long ago I was so tired, and wanting a break. Yet, God brought a, “interruption” to my planned break — really a reminder, a piece of the story of His work, across my path. A friend’s mother was in town. She had not seen her mother in 3 years, for it had been impossible to leave her country. As they ate lunch with us, I was reminded of the work God is doing in this family’s life- to draw them to Himself. I am weak and tired, yet He is powerful. I am so glad I didn’t miss this time. God is credited even in my weaknesses.
Is there something more to this small picture?
In the dailyness of life, and in the midst of the mundane, it can be difficult to keep this bigger picture in mind. I can forget there is something, so much more. I can wonder, “Where do the dishes, laundry, mentoring, praying, sharing a meal, fit into all of this? Does this have purpose? Does what I do make a difference?” I can begin to live as if this time is not the “in-between,” but is my safe home. I instead want to find comfort here. It seems simpler to live superficially than to remember what it true. What is the greater picture?
Visions of the unseen
Where are you today? Are you thankful for the parts and pieces you have or does the in-between seem too mundane or difficult? Are you happy with today or do you long for the completion?
Today I am thankful that there are days it pours with the pieces of the unseen. Other days there might be just some little part or piece to notice. It might be in a sunset, a baby or beautiful architecture.
On these days I ask, “How can I ever wonder? How can I ever doubt?” When I have an upward gaze, it satisfies. It makes so much sense. I don’t have to know where I am in the story. The greatest author has written it. I am apart of a masterpiece painted by God, Himself. As I gaze upward and mediate on this Author’s words, He makes sense. His ways make the most sense on these days. I must hold on to the glimpses of the unseen, given as a gift. I see in part, but one day I will see in full. This is faith: seeing in part, but knowing one day you will see in full.
While we look at not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:18
Even though I long for the finished product now, I can still enjoy parts of the unseen, parts of the story, pieces of the masterpiece. I get to glimpse the author at work in my life, around me and in the people I interact with. As I am apart of this story, I get to share His story and even point others to something more that makes the most sense
The best thing I can do is keep walking with my gaze upward, taking notice of the parts with a longing for the whole, while displaying His power during this “in-between.” For now I see dimly, and trust God who sees fully. This is walking by faith.