Life in the Middle
by Tammy Whitehurst
Life isn’t sugar coated. It can leave us upside down and spinning around. It would be great if it was as simple as doing the hokey pokey and turning ourselves around. But, it’s rarely that easy. Life has a beginning and an ending. It’s the things in the middle that build our character, strength, patience, and most of all our faith. The middle is life’s wilderness filled with struggles, strains, tears and fears. A jungle of sorts. The good news is we can grow there.
In the middle is where we go our way or God’s way. Many of us have tried both. It didn’t take long to realize we needed the hand of Jesus to walk us through. In the middle is the realization of how fast time flies, how to make the most of life, how messes make us stronger, and how to finish with a focus. God doesn’t promise life to be all roses and red hots, but He does promise it is going to be worth it in the end. If our goal is to finish strong, we must make it through the middle.
Life has a big bulldozer called time and it doesn’t come with brakes. We watch our children go from diapers to dates in no time flat. We have learned a few things through the years and now we can look forward to the days ahead. We discover we are wiser as the wrinkles begin to claim space on our face. Friendships take on a deeper meaning. Stopping to smell the roses is finally understood. We realize staring death in the face, rising above it, and emerging stronger is possible.
By this age, we have seen modern day miracles, and we can laugh in the face of a challenge. We fight with faith instead of fists. We realize a step backwards after a step forward is not a complete disaster; it’s the cha-cha. Most of us have danced it a long time before we realized a waltz with the Word was more satisfying. There are unexpected delights in the days ahead. Don’t miss a single moment of what God is teaching through life in the middle.
Life Is What We Make Of It
Do you ever feel like you’re running in circles making no progress? We all have dreams and goals we want to fulfill. But life is confusing and chaotic at times.
We all remember the days of looking eye to eye at someone and saying, “Make me.” Our days are what we make of them. We can make an entrance, make it work, or make a mistake. We can make believe, make memories, make a mess, or make up our mind. We can make some noise, and in some instances make up for lost time. Our journey in life will be what we make of it. Let’s make it a journey that kicks life up a notch by asking God to use the messes in the middle and show us the beauty in the midst of the mess.
In The Mess Is A Message
If we are honest, we will admit life not a walk in the park. There comes a point when we will stare at the biggest challenge of our life and realize we are not in control. There is good news. We have a Messiah named Jesus to lean on. He gives us peace through life in the middle of all the mess. If we lean on Him when we need strength and trust Him even if we do not understand, we will be okay. We have had days when we wondered if that was true. But when we take it one day at a time, our Savior will clean up our messes. In the middle of the mess we become stronger.
Begin the day focusing on what really matters. Find reasons to be thankful. Remind yourself that Jesus is in the middle with you and will work things out in His time.
Focus on the Finish Line
Don’t give up. Life is not about who finishes first. It is about who finishes —–period. Just get through the middle. We cannot move forward, sideways, or any way because we are stuck in the rut of worry. It leads to relational, emotional, and yes, even physical problems. It is a view that somehow God lost control of the situation.
Our problems are not too big for God to handle. Be a warrior not a worrier. Take it one day at a time to get to the finish line.
Beginnings set the stage and the end sums life up, but the middle always tells the story. Your story has power even if you think it’s not fancy. It’s not about being in the spotlight. It’s about discovering the Light. The true light in the darkness. It’s about surviving rock bottom and knowing where the strength to rise comes from when you are still in the middle. It’s about the trials that lead to triumphs in the end. Your story can help people get right side up when everything is upside down.
With all Paul endured while in the middle of his life, the apostle tells us in 2 Corinthians 4:16-18: “Therefore we do not give up. Even though our outer person is being destroyed, our inner person is being renewed day by day. For our momentary light affliction is producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory. So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
Previously published in Lifeway Mature Years 2015
Tammy Whitehurst is a Christian motivational speaker and writer from Texas who is an empty nester living on the lake with her husband and german shepherd. To learn more about her go to TammyWhitehurst.com