We’ve landed in the middle of a pandemic: a new era, a formidable unknown.

Dearest Reader,

We’ve landed in the middle of a new era, a formidable unknown, a pandemic. Covid19. 

There’s much to be said about intermediate seasons. As Believers, the middle is where we find ourselves, and home is where we long to be.

I don’t have three ways for you to cope, six ideas to engage in the pause, ten journaling prompts for what you are feeling at this moment.

However, I offer you my humble words, ponderings from my journal, a bit of hard-earned wisdom learned in scorched places, and beauty from the wilderness. Grace in the wilderness redefines our wilderness.

What I know about the middle is that it feels open-ended.

This season feels familiar. I’ve been here before, though not with a pandemic. Instead, a diagnosis that came with the words, “There is no cure, only management.”

No cure was a hard stop in my ordinary everyday life. A short pause turned to a life derailed with the necessity to rebuild something new. And better.

We’ve landed in the middle of a pandemic. 

Our two-week pause feels more like a hard stop. Our plans will be derailed, and we will need to rebuild.

Isaiah 55:9-13

“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, 
giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
‘For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing,
and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress; instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle;
and it shall make a name for the Lordan everlasting sign that shall not be cut off’.”

The Vastness of Voids fills with the presence of God in the middle.

From my journal:

We meet again. Early morning. Pre-dawn darkness. You awaken me with the song: “What A Mighty God We Serve.” It takes a bit, I confess, to notice the words playing in my head. Then I lean in and listen. You knew the morning would be a struggle after little sleep. You met me in the battle with words that moved me, words that reminded me you have said, “Go.” You know going is not always easy—cold rain. Warm blankets. Body aching for more sleep.

The urge to leave my warm cocoon is more. My excitement to meet You here before the world intrudes.

Your ways are higher than mine. Your thoughts, lofty, and perfect. Mine, self-serving, and greedy. I want to hear from you. Long for your voice.

We’ve landed in the middle, and this is what we know.

You are here.

You are with me.

Your Holy Spirit is in me.

And you fill voids with words that will not return empty. You are big, bigger than my ambitions filled. You send the Sower, and He plants your seeds.

I show up, and you pour Living Water, and the seeds sprout and grow, wrap around my soul, filling the void in my heart. The emptiness longing for something. I am aching for something bigger than me. It’s you, O God. It is you; my heart longs to hear.

“Let me see your face, let me hear your voice” Song of Solomon 2:14 

You give seed to the Sower and bread to the hungry. You break the bread, and it multiplies.

When you break the bread our

hearts rejoice.

Your creation burst out with praise.

Reminds me who you are:

Pursuer of hearts.

Patient.

Long-suffering, steadfast, and real.

Your Words, life.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1 

Your Word, your heartbeat, beats in mine. And the void, the vastness, it’s many things. Grief, pain, desertion, addiction, loss. Empty places are begging you to fill.

You step into the void, fill the vastness with the seed of your Word. You lead us up out of the wilderness to paradise with your Word. Your words are an everlasting covenant—promises of life.

In the middle, will you reach for His Words?

And will you water the Sower’s seed? Can you let it burst forth and fill the void?

Will you allow Him to lead you?

Will His joy burst forth in you?

Lean in and listen as all creation rejoices.

The creation rejoices with:

Soft rain that cleanses with downpours.

Warms us with sunshine.

Wakes our hearts with song.

And wind that blows the thorns away.

Whispers words of love into empty, breaking hearts, wrenching in pain.

Reach for Him as He reaches for you.

We’ve landed in the middle of a pandemic, a vastness of voids. What we feel the void with determines how well we come out on the other side of this unknown.

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope” Psalm 130:5

We hope in his Word in the middle.

Let me know how you are coping in this season by commenting below or sending a private email to tlmashburn@yahoo.com

Lastly, I am here to encourage you, equip you, and guide you as you redefine your wilderness.

Your Wilderness Guide,

 

* Catch up here.

*Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotes are in the English Standard Version from Bible.com

PS: My first book, Mornings In The Word, is available now. Order your copy today. Mornings In The Word consists of short devotions and insights for the middle!

“There is no space to live well or love well, much less pursue the God who created us to be in fellowship with Him. We close the gap between what we need and what we want with more. Our spinning lives and broken hearts are empty while appearing full. We paste a smile on our face and tell anyone who asks we are okay while inside we are shattering a million different ways.” -Mornings In The Word