Meanwhile. By definition, is the time before something is to happen. Nine letters implying something is already happening behind the scenes and in conjunction with our current reality. Something we are unaware of. It is the space between our perceived reality and the reality that is to come.
Think of all the great movies where the writer has its audience mesmerized by the current scene, MEANWHILE the plot twists in the background; truth is told, reality realized, love lost, friendships found, healing happens, and lessons learned. It’s easy to understand the plot twist of the movie when the ending turns out as expected.
What do we do with the meanwhile of our lives when the plot is not as expected?
Many of us are waiting for our happy ending in some part of our lives. Whether that be a relationship, parenting, a job, God’s calling, ministry, or a dream. We walk through our daily lives with all it’s plot twists. Some of which we might understand and others we cannot comprehend how it fits into our happy ending.
I had expectations of what my life would look like. I have expectations of what my life should look like.
Expectations rarely match our reality.
I had the opportunity to attend She Speaks through Proverbs 31 Ministry. It is a conference for writers, speakers, and leaders. Lysa TerKeurst, president of Proverbs 31 Ministry, gave the opening message. Her message highlighted the life of Joseph and his ‘meanwhile’ in God’s call on his life.
You may be familiar with the story of Joseph and how God raised him to save the lives of many (Gen 50:20), including his family which fulfilled the dreams Joseph had as a young boy. I imagine Joseph had expectations as to how his life would look. I also imagine his reality of being sold into slavery, falsely accused, and imprisoned looked nothing like his expectations.
As I listened to this message God whispered His own message to me. It is one He has been whispering for six months. This time there was a little more clarity with His message. It was as though God were breathing peace into my soul.
Wait on Me.
God has given me a dream and a vision. My expectations of what my journey would look like does not match my current reality. Like Joseph, my meanwhile is just as God intended which does match the reality that is to come. Joseph had many years of God preparing him for the purpose of His calling. In Joseph’s meanwhile he learned to wait on God. He did not wait for the prison guard or the cup bearer. Joseph didn’t wait for his circumstances to change or people to remember him. He waited on God. A lesson I am learning in this space between my current reality and the reality that is to come.
When we watch the movie plot twist and turn we understand that some of those things had to occur in order for the happy ending we were expecting. We see that the hurt and the pain that comes with the trials they face are sometimes necessary and we trust that the writer knew just how the plot had to turn in order for the right ending to happen.
So much happens in the meanwhile of our lives that we overlook simply because it doesn’t match the expectations we had.
Expectations are sad substitutes for God’s reality.
I may not understand the plot twist and chances are I may not like it. I may ask God ‘why’ on more than one occasion, but I am learning to lean into the meanwhile. I close my eyes so I can see, silence the noise so I can hear, and pause so I can be prepared. This may not be the script I would have written, but it is the role God wrote for me. There is a space between our current reality and the reality that is to come known as our meanwhile. I can try to escape the unexpected or I can wade in God’s whispers as I wait.