This is what I shared at our End of Year Breakfast for KBN, I have had so many people asking for my notes so I decided to write a blog about it. I have left the section from my book out so it wasn’t too long. Will maybe do a separate post for that….
My recent trip to New Zealand had me in a few airports and on the way back, after a grueling 26 hours in transit, I arrived in Johannesburg, with swollen ankles, dry and cracked lips, thumping head, absolutely exhausted and to be honest a lot on the grumpy side. I still had a 5 hour wait before my flight to Durban, which would reunite me with my husband and family.
It was a strange feeling knowing that I was “home” and yet still very far from home, in hours and kilometres. And at times I literally felt despair. Fortunately I understand how to shift my state and I forced myself to shift my focus from how miserable I was feeling to the fact that I was nearly home and could use this time to learn and contribute. All I had was a very weak smile to offer the other tired travellers, and that is what I gave each one who looked my way.
The place of purpose
I also started to look around me and thought how Airports are places of purpose. Most people are going somewhere and you can see by the way they move, they know where they are going and that they have done this before. Others you can see are new at this and they are wondering around looking from their ticket to all the signs, looking frantically worried and lost.
I love airports because of the sense of destiny as many stories seem to be unfolding as people move to and fro, I always wonder what their story is and what it is they are doing. I looked up the word destiny for interest sake and was interested, not in the meaning so much as the root word in Latin, which means to MAKE FIRM, ESTABLISH.
A place of waiting
An airport is also a place of waiting and it made me think of our life journey’s and sometimes waiting in an airport after a long flight is like waiting to get to your final destination in life. We get to the land in between where we have to wait before continuing, we can go through the same emotions and feelings there. So the land in between is that place of waiting where we have left where we were and we haven’t quite got to where we are going. We are almost there and we can feel that we are in the right place but not there yet.
The 3 choices in the land in betweew
In this place we have 3 choices:
- Go back
- Force my way forward
1. Firstly once you have stepped off your plane and walked through the boarding area, you cannot go back. Many of us feel like if things don’t work out for us we can just go back, but there is no going back in life. We can never go back to what once was. We can only keep going forward. We have to get to the place where we stop looking over our shoulders with longing and regret and we have to shift our focus to the future and to where we need to go.
2. There is a quote that says ‘If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” And although I love the spunky-ness of it, sometimes it just isn’t true. As I was sitting near the area where my boarding gate was, there was nothing I could do to make the time for that boarding gate to open come sooner. There was an appointed time that it would open and I would be able to produce the ticket I had and they would let me though. I could push past the tape and burst my way through the doors but the plane wouldn’t be there and I would possibly land up on the tarmac all battered, bruised and embarrassed, or even get arrested, but it would not make the delay any shorter
3. All I could do was WAIT, shift my focus from how miserable I was feeling to what I could do to make myself feel better and be useful in my service to others, even if it was in the form of a weak smile. So I smiled to all the travelers, put my tired feet up on my suitcase to help with the swelling and walked around to get the blood flowing. In life we sometimes just have to BE STILL AND KNOW THAT HE IS GOD….
What to do while we wait
So if you have found yourself in the land in between, what do you do? Here are three things:
Waiting in a Posture of Expectation
I love Isaiah 40:31 “31 But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] shall change and renew their strength and power; they shall lift their wings and mount up [close to God] as eagles [mount up to the sun]; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint or become tired.“ This waiting speaks to me of someone leaning forward in expectation, not someone leaning back with arms crossed. There is a sense of rest in expectation. Waiting for the opportunity when the doors open, having being prepared and ready to enter in. Are you ready? Are you prepared for your destiny? Has your character been made firm and established as you wait purposefully for the opportunity to come where you can now enter in?
Ephesian 6:13 says “13 Therefore put on God’s complete armor, that you may be able to resist and stand your ground on the evil day [of danger], and, having done all [the crisis demands], to stand [firmly in your place].” In the land in between, is where you stand your ground, where you don’t give up the land you have fought for. Its where all that you have learnt on the journey must be held on to and no matter how weary and tired you are, this is where you just stand, and know that God surrounds you and that he is for you and not against you. Sometimes you have nothing left to give but all you can do is stand, then having done all you can do, just stand, this is not the time to give up the ground. Only stand! Remember the battle belongs to the Lord! What does your territory look like right now? What have you learnt?
Guard your heart
Ephesians 6:18 says “18 Pray at all times (on every occasion, in every season) in the Spirit, with all [manner of] prayer and entreaty. To that end keep alert and watch with strong purpose and perseverance, interceding in behalf of all the saints (God’s consecrated people).” In this stage of our walk, in the land in between when we sometimes can feel like we have lost our way, that the wait is too long, that we have been forgotten, this is where the enemy of our soul feasts on the offences, unforgiveness and bitterness which so easily can creep in our hearts. It is when we are at our lowest that he will whisper in your ear how so-and-so did this-and-that to you and how that is totally unacceptable. Be alert and watch with strong purpose and perseverance, do not let the enemy distract you when you are so close to “the promised land”. Guard your hearts, unforgiveness, bitterness and offences are some of the greatest thief’s of destiny I know, when our focus becomes about that – we are drawn away and can miss the opportunities that are opened to us. At some point of our wait, a message came through that our flight would be delayed, one lady got up and left in a huff to go have a coffee and missed the call that told us it wouldn’t be as long as we expected and she nearly missed the flight. There are many people wandering around in the land in between not able to go back and having missed their flight to where they need to go. Do not despair, God will never leave you nor forsake you. Look up and see where the boarding gate is for you…
Have you picked up an offence along the way, are you angry and bitter? What are you going to do about it?
I hope that this has encouraged you, let me know if it has…..