“You shall not defile the land in which you live, in the midst of which I dwell, for I the Lord dwell in the midst of the people of Israel.” (Numbers 35:34)

Unfortunately, the Israelites were known for their complaints against God. They were also known for their rebellious spirits and their lack of trust. Every time I read the old testament and read of their journey out of Egypt and into the promised land, I’m amazed at their “lack of faith.” That may sound haughty. However, I was recently convicted of this myself. 

Complaining boils down to a lack of trust in God. They wept and said, “Give us meat to eat!” (Numbers 11:13) They also said to one another, “Let us choose a leader and go back to Egypt.” (Numbers 14:4) I read this and think, “Y’all are crazy!! The Lord already supplied you with Moses. You’re out. You’re safe. Don’t forget His faithfulness”…

But then.

I take a look at my life and think of when I’ve been in the Israelites’ shoes. Come to find – I chose the exact same response they did.

Doubt over trust. 

Fear over faith.

Complaints over thanks.

They were walking in the land in between. The land of “not anymore, but not yet.”

And that’s a very difficult place to be. 

It’s uncomfortable.

To journey through the middle land well, you have to remind yourself of God’s faithfulness. 

And do it constantly. It’s what will carry you through.

It’s in that place where God prunes you, shapes you, chips away your rough edges (we all have those), and refines you.

The land in between could look like:

  • awaiting to hear back from a job opportunity
  • awaiting the arrival of a baby
  • awaiting your graduation day
  • awaiting marriage
  • awaiting a miracle in your body 

Notice the consecutive word in all of those examples?

The land in between is also commonly known as the waiting period. 

We know that anger can either lead us to righteousness in Christ or sin. The Israelites’ complaints were rising up from anger and bitterness within their hearts. Now, we see Moses crying out to the Lord multiple times. (Numbers 11:11-15) His prayers were extremely honest. In his hurt, he turned to God. In his frustration, he turned to God. Moses feared the Lord. Notice the difference. Scripture even says that he was a very meek man. 

The Lord desires honest prayers. Psalms 51:17 says, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” He will not turn his face away. He’s not disgusted by your humility nor bothered by your honesty. Our God is welcoming.

It’s easy to complain when you’re in the land in between. It’s difficult to move forward with vision when you’re discouraged and disappointed. But something the Israelites failed to do was see how God’s faithfulness in the past could propel them forward in their future. 

I’m sure eating manna for breakfast, lunch, and dinner became a drag quickly. Like eating oatmeal every day for every meal! 

But also, they failed to remind themselves that it won’t last forever.

This season will end! 

Seasons aren’t meant to last a lifetime.

So what can we learn here?

Instead of dreading the middle ground, instead of dreading the land in between, what is God doing right now that you can rejoice in? What did He do in the past that you can remind yourself of? Do it daily if you must! The Lord taught the Israelites how to fully trust and depend on Him for everything. EVERYTHING. 

Did you know that giving thanks can increase our joy?  Joy can more easily well up from within when there is true gratefulness!

Reading their story, it’s easy to point out what the Lord was doing. It’s also easy to blame them and see the flaws in their responses. So, maybe grab a close friend you share with about your “land in-between” season, and let them speak to you about what they see the Lord doing. Take yourself out of the situation for a second and breathe! Trust that whatever you may be awaiting, the Lord is moving in. He’s refining. He’s preparing. Allow Him to do that. 

Go forth with remembrance and thanksgiving. 

Katelyn Motsinger

Katelyn loves expressing herself through writing, speaking and singing. Currently working as a paralegal, she has an innate passion for justice and bringing people together. She desires to see people experience the true love of Christ as the Church lives boldly and unashamed. For more of her writings, check out her blog www.underthecanopyonline.com

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