You're in the middle

June 8th, 2015

I discovered an album made by Duke Divinity grad Mike Whang called "Miles and Miles: Songs from the Strange and Foreign Land of North Carolina." The song that spoke to me was the track "Collide." Mike explains that the song was written from a place of jealousy. He was the frontman of a band called the Nehemiah Band that was fairly popular in Southern California. He felt that God was strongly calling him to leave all this behind and go to seminary in North Carolina.

He followed the call and moved to Durham. Two of his old bandmates formed a new band that struck it big. They appeared on the Jimmy Kimmel show, got to tour with a big act, and scored a major label deal.

While a part of him was happy for his friends, another part of him was absolutely jealous of their success. That could’ve been the original band. He laid down his dream to follow God’s calling, but this new path wasn’t leading anywhere. He began to question if this was really God’s calling on his life or whether he'd just make an awful mistake.

I think that song resonated with me because I know how he feels. Maybe not to the extent of seeing your dream becoming reality (and then some) without you, but I know the feeling of being lost on your own journey while everyone else’s seems successful.

I know the struggle of trying to bear fruit in your ministry while your friends and colleagues are embarking on new and exciting journeys. I know the pang of jealousy of waiting for a new appointment for months while all the churches are getting filled — some of the good churches by people you deemed less gifted, skilled and talented than you are.

I know the frustrations of hearing that a friend’s ministry is thriving while you’re wading in what seems like survival and death.

If we don’t get our hearts checked, what happens is jealousy takes root. And jealousy is like a weed; it will choke the life in us.

Joy will be replaced by bitterness. Grace will be overtaken by jadedness. Love will be overwhelmed by our penchant to hate, criticize and belittle.

It’s just too easy to count everyone else’s blessings over our own, isn’t it?

For those battling jealousy;
for those who feel left behind while everyone’s moving onward and forward; 
for those who are lost, confused and wandering;
for those who are dwelling in the in-between moments;
for those who are being weighed down by the burden of unmet expectations;
for those who are just simply struggling:

I don’t know if I have words to give you strength and hope, but know that you are not alone. And in the words of Jimmy Eat World, “You’re in the middle of the ride.”

We’re just in the middle of our journey.
We’re in the middle of a sentence.
The rest of the sentence is yet to be written.
There’s a paragraph, a chapter, a novel still to be written.

And God? God is a brilliant author and God is no where near done with your story. God isn't done with youThis is not the end. It’s simply the middle of the ride. And you will get through this.

You will survive the middle.

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