Between the “Suffering” and the “So…”

As we look back on 2021 and reflect on the journey God has us on, it seems a hard year to sum up in words. It’s not the “unprecedented” twist that 2020 brought us with the sudden and unexpected journey of a lengthy lockdown and life as we’d never known it before. Nor was it a year of arriving at the land of milk and honey and tasting all the goodness of the hard work from the years before. It was not even a time of epic battles that leaves one with either a sensation of great victory or crushing defeat.

Instead, it’s as if we’re in the space between the “suffering” and the “so…” (see Exodus 3:7-8) — a bit like the Israelites wandering through the fog into a strange in-between-land and not quite knowing where their bearings are; like [the Israelites] walking through the wilderness having to trust the Lord at every turn because they have no idea what lies ahead, except for the promise of one day arriving at the destination their hearts long for.

There’s a pull to return to the comfort of the familiarity that was once known, and yet the constant reminders that the world is not what it once was. Nothing is quite the same—not church, work, ministry, travelling, entertainment, socializing.

When confronted with such a reality there’s a fearful heart cry that the Lord has abandoned us, and yet there’s a raw reliance on Him alone to carry us through each day as we put one foot in front of the other into unchartered territory. And the road is speckled with blessings that sustain our hope that the Lord is indeed with us, and will bring us to our desired destination in His time and in His way.