I’m so thankful for the Psalms. They are gritty, raw, honest, breathed as a prayer and crescendoing in worship. Many of them flow out of what feels like an in between in David’s life. Our reading from Psalm 31 today is the “already, not yet” of what we find in 1 Samuel 16. God had spoken, the oil had been poured yet there sat David in a cave…
It’s not hard for us to understand the frustration of the in between. If it takes longer than the national average of 203.29 seconds from the moment we say “#1 with a Sweet Tea” to when the window opens and it’s handed our way we are not happy. If the time between us clicking a link and the page loading is longer than 3 seconds 40% of us leave. Hospitals pay for billboards that list the current wait times for the Emergency Room to help us decide if it’s really worth it. We are not a culture that likes to wait.
Yet when we look to the Word we discover it is FILLED with in betweens. Creation, the desert, marching around walls, David, silence after the prophets’ promise, Jesus’ early life, the exhale of his last breath… God, it seems, is not afraid of the tension of the in between.
What if the “good work” Paul speaks of in the Philippians passage actually takes place in these “already not yet” moments? What if, in the tension between what was and what will be God is seeking to form the very things required to see us through what is to come? It’s in these moments I find the grittiness David’s words so refreshing. Fear, hope, frustration, and joy pour forth with a beauty that flows from the rawness of his own in between and having spent time with the emotions of those moments. Rather than ignoring the tensions David enters into them honestly within the shelter of his radical trust in God. There, in that gritty, raw, transparent place the fullness of God and the fullness of David enter into one another and worship seeps out.
Perhaps you are living your own “already not yet”. Remember, not a single word of God has ever fallen to the ground. What God has spoken will come to pass. But while you wait, don’t miss the gift of the in between. Enter into the tension in the shelter of a radical trust in God and allow the “good work” to be carried to completion.
Rev. Ben LaPlace – Outreach Pastor – Greenville First Church of the Nazarene – Greenville, SC