I sat in church today, singing words speaking of God’s strength in me, struggling to fill the gap between the words I was singing and the reality I was experiencing. I knew in my head that the words were true, that I have strength through His spirit, but my body felt weak and exhausted.
As I sat and reflected I realised that I am living life in the gap. The gap between believing God’s promises and seeing them fulfilled. It’s a place many of us will find ourselves.
Life can remind us constantly of this gap between our here and now and the eternity we are promised. We loose people we love, and we believe we will see them again in heaven, but we are not yet reunited. We struggle with illness, and we know God can heal us, but He hasn’t yet. We face pain in our lives, and hope one day He will wipe these tears from our eyes, but for now we are left crying. We see injustice everywhere, and we trust that He will set all things right, but not today.
Sometimes we get glimpses of God’s kingdom. Moments where we burn with excitement for all that God has for us. His promises feel so tangible we can reach out and claim them. Life in all it’s fullness feels like a reality, rather than an abstract ideal. God’s love envelopes us and we finally see ourselves the way He does. We stand on our mountain tops and marvel at how small our problems seem, when compared with God’s greatness. Nothing is impossible with Him on our side. We wonder how we ever felt differently.
Other days we find ourselves weighed down with life, struggling to persevere. We fear for what the future may hold. We cling on to His promises, but we doubt they were written for us. God seems distant or silent, His love something reserved for better Christians than us. Our prayers seem to go unanswered. We long for a breakthrough that does not come. His Kingdom seems so far away.
And here we wait, in the gap, between the now and the not yet. Between His Kingdom coming and His Kingdom here. Trusting for things we can’t yet see.
This can be a lonely place. We can easily convince ourselves that no one else feels this way. That every other Christian has their lives sorted. That we live in this place, because of our lack of faith. That maybe this is our punishment.
But if we’re brave and honest with each other, we’ll discover that the gap between our experiences and God’s promises, is a reality of living in these times. It is the training ground that God uses to grow our faith. The place where we are called to keep trusting, despite the cost and the circumstances that surround us. One day, when the gap closes, we will realise these were the days that grew and shaped us into the people we needed to be.
The days may be hard. We could be waiting here a while. Yet it is here, in this gap, that hope lives. Hope for better days to come, for promises fulfilled and restoration completed. We are on a journey, with a destination beyond our wildest imaginings.
We may not be there yet, but we get closer every day.