It sucks in the middle.
For the second Ignite Macclesfield, Luke Andrews spoke of the difficulties of being stuck in the middle. He explained that these enduring times can often be a time of uncertainty that can put a strain on our relationship with God.
Luke’s message began in Mark 4v35-41, where Jesus speaks to a storm in the Sea of Galilee. Immediately, the storm calms. But what about the events prior to this?
In v.38 we see that all through the beginnings of the storm Jesus was asleep, leaving the disciples to deal with the tempest. Until they wake Jesus, pleading, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”
Sometimes when we’re going through our own storms, be it issues at home, school, with friends or even with our faith, it can often feel like Jesus is sleeping. But this passage reminds us that it is not God’s intention for us to stay in this place; we are not meant to exist in the middle, but rather to endure it and come out the other side, having learned from the experience.
This is spiritual growth. It’s a part of anyone’s journey of pursuing Jesus. It allows us to become closer to God through learning and experience. Yes, it can be painful. It can feel like it will never end, that we won’t make it out the other side. As Christians, we trust God to see us through. His desire is not just to rescue us, but for us to grow during this time and emerge from “the middle” a stronger person.
It’s all very reassuring that this won’t last forever and that we’ll make it out alive, but this can also make it feel like Jesus is ‘asleep’. As if He’s dormant, distant… not even there.
But this isn’t the case.
Isaiah 41v10 reminds us, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
Turmoil and stress can often make it feel like God is distant, but the Bible reassures us that he is with us through everything. Continuous prayer and fellowship, I believe, will help and relieve the distance felt during hardship. The love from God’s people will offer great support in “the middle” and prayer will always bring us closer to God.