Jeff Manion preached a sermon (and wrote a book) called, “The Land Between." It is about the place where there are no great miracles of deliverance (Egypt), but it is not the land flowing with milk and honey either (The Promised Land, Canaan). It is the desert, like mile 17 in the marathon. It is not the beginning when the crowd is cheering and you are full of energy, and not the end when you see the finish line and the crowd is pushing you towards success. At mile 17, you are exhausted, hurting, alone, and still have a long way to go. We have all been there and will be there again.
WHERE DID GOD GO?
The “land between” is the place in life where God seems silent, even absent. It is a place of difficulty, uncertainty, and struggle. In the dry vastness of the desert, the former times of blessedness are hard to remember, and the hope for the future is even harder to envision. The “land between” is a place of depression and despair, where we want to give up, quit, turn back, or just die.
THE GREATEST OF THEM ALL
There has perhaps never been a more intense time of the “land between” than the Saturday between the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We can’t really feel today what the disciples and followers felt then. They had their faith and hopes destroyed on Friday in the most brutal, devastating, and final way. Remember, they had no idea that Sunday was coming. Their “land between” may have only lasted a day, but nothing can match the intensity of what they must have felt. What a day of complete and utter horror.
GOD IS NOT ABSENT OR IDLE
The resurrection teaches us that if all seems lost, as if God is nowhere to be found, even then, He’s still at work. Perhaps, this is when He is doing His greatest work! God is always doing more than we can see at any given time. The faithful love of God is from everlasting to everlasting, whether we see that or not.
BETWEEN IS THE GOOD NEWS
The good news is that Saturday was the land between. Sunday did come, and brought the removed stone and empty tomb. The worst day was not the final day… just a day between.
WE LIVE BY FAITH
Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the conviction of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). The “land between” is the time to live by faith, trusting God is not absent or idle. You may feel like you are there now, as if God has forgotten you, but Sunday is just a few hours away. God does not waste these times. The gates of hell were being assaulted and Jesus was taking the keys of death and hell on that Saturday. The next time you feel like you are in the “land between,” try to imagine what great things God is accomplishing.