• Clarice Aeby

Living in the meantime


PHOTO: Keenan Constance from Pexels

This season is full of “different” -- for our nation, for the world and for us. Many of us are living without meeting friends for coffee, skipping the freedom of frequent grocery store trips or hugging loved ones. We are staying distant even when together and are avoiding crowds –concerts, special events… even church. Many have the added difficulty of illness and job loss. And some, sadly, are forced to add grief to the list.

One day our lives will return to something more familiar, but what do we do in the meantime?

I don’t know about you, but when I look back, the times I’ve grown closest to the Lord have often happened in the “meantime” of living. What if we look back six months from now, or even a dozen years from now, and realize this MEANTIME was when we experienced something of God’s compassion, comfort or encouragement, that we’d never known before?

What if in the depths of our loneliness and despair we experience one of those mountaintop moments that made the “ah-ha” worth the pain?

Isaiah 40:29-30 speaks to me this morning as I rest in isolation with my 95-year-old Mom in her retirement community for an anticipated six weeks.

“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not faint.”

What if this verse -- or another of your choosing -- became your own during this meantime? What if you meditated on the depths of one truth during the stillness of this season that would then carry you through the next?

I’ve written often about engaging in a “dialogue with God.” A dialogue is different than reading the Bible or praying. It’s really the power that links those two practices.

The verse is God’s invitation to a personal conversation with you. The prayer is your response to Him. And what might have been two parallel paths become one beautiful dialogue between you and the God who knows and loves you best. I do it best on paper. You might give that a try.

PHOTO: fotografierende from Pexels

The following are other ideas for ways to embrace a truth until it becomes part of you. Between your “before covid-19” and the slow return of “after,” your meantime may become one of those spiritual mountain tops you never forget … perhaps even part of your legacy.

Some meditation suggestions

Find a quiet time and space – void of interruptions (no people, no phone)

Write out a verse or short passage that speaks to you and begin having a conversation with the Lord in response. For example:

“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not faint.”

Dialogue with God about:

  • the weariness you are feeling today

  • where you need His strength

  • ways He has given you hope in past difficulties

  • imagining new ways you might soar tomorrow or next month or next year

Commit your verse to memory as you take a walk.

Draw -- your weariness, your seeking, your soaring …

PHOTO by Dzenina Lukac from Pexels

Make a card for a fellow traveler who is also weary, sending your verse and how it is touching your heart. Mail it with a prayer.

Imagine how you might teach this verse to a child. If possible, do it in person, in an email, Facebook…

Calligraphy your verse, date it, and hang it in a prominent place.

Find a song with the theme of your verse – or compose your own.

Pull up a chair and sit still

The Lord tells us to remember. In fact He even created a rainbow as a reminder so we wouldn’t forget:

“When the bow is in the cloud, then I will look upon it,

to remember the everlasting covenant between God

and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.”

GENESIS 9:16

Let’s prayerfully purpose to come out of this “meantime” with a lasting memory of our rich experience with the Lord.

I’d love to hear what you’re doing in your “meantime.”

Thanks for sitting still with me today.

Email me your thoughts or pop in to say "hi."  

I'd love to hear from you!

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“Dare to Be Still" is a women’s ministry of New Hope Eugene in Oregon.

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