God does His greatest work when we are in the “meantime”. We love to hear the highlights when listening to a story, but we don’t get too excited about the stuff in between. Star Wars is full of action, but the hero, Luke Skywaker, was trained in about 15 minutes of screen time. Neo, in the Matrix, got all his hard-behind-the-scenes work directly downloaded into his brain.
Even the Bible tells stories this way. Moses spent 40 years tending sheep in the desert before leading the Jews out of Egypt. The Bible tells the story of those 40 years in only one sentence. Joseph spent at least 2 years in prison but only a few events from those years are found in his story. Is that strange to anyone but me?
During those seasons, Moses and Joseph were, no doubt, desiring to be somewhere else. They knew they weren’t where they were supposed to be. They were in the “meantime”. It’s in the meantime where God does his most significant work. It’s in the meantime that God humbles, breaks, molds and rebuilds us into the people we need to be so that His will can be accomplished. Moses never would have led the Exodus without the meantime. Joseph never would have been second in command to the Pharaoh without the meantime. Even Jesus wouldn’t have had his powerful 3-year ministry without the 18 year meantime between his 12th and 30th birthdays.
If you are not where you know you’re supposed to be, you’re in the meantime. Embrace this season. God is using it to shape your character. He’s using it to make you stronger, holier, healthier, and more useful for His cause. You can’t speed up the meantime. It will last as long as God determines, but on the other side of it the highlights will be awesome. Endure this season, embrace God’s work and one day, after you’ve finished your life’s work, the people at your funeral will talk about the great highlights that were all the result of your meantime.