One of my favorite parts of the Bible is what happens on the blank page. The thin and oddly nondescript page between the end of the Old Testament and the beginning of the New. Did you know this page represents 400 years of silence from God. 400 years of asking where He was, 400 years of wandering, doubting, questioning.
400 of years of waiting.
The majority of our own lives are spent on this blank page. Waiting for something to happen, for God to come through, for a miracle to show up. We beg and plead, we doubt, we get angry, tears escape us despite our best attempts to hold onto them. We subsequently turn around toward the place we came from, because we at least knew what we were doing there. But here in the wait? Not so much.
The thing about the wait is it not only makes us doubt God, but doubt ourselves. We question if we heard Him right, if we are capable of the road ahead, if we even have the strength to move one foot in front of the other. Several years ago I walked through an inexplicable dry, desert season. God had clearly called me to write and teach but without any further direction. So I waited... for years. I asked for guidance, begged for opportunities to walk in it. But He sat silent.
I doubted myself more often than I sat confident. I wondered if the calling I felt was self imposed rather than God-given. Maybe I had conjured all of this up in order to stand on a platform. (Never mind that you will still find me profusely sweating before I teach anything. It truly is a miracle that I don't stink more.)
The doubt during the wait dried up my time with the Lord. My mornings were spent begging for what I wanted. I felt aimless, as if I were wandering around a desert in search of a way out. It's an age-old story of pleading, waiting, receiving, doubting and doing it all over again.
When we become fixated on the wait, we lose sight of Who we are waiting on.
It was during this season that I decided to throw everything I knew out the window and just read the Bible. I was determined to hear from God and would pursue Him until I did. So there I sat every morning in Genesis, then Exodus going line by line. At first, it was fruitless. At first I was bored and remained waiting for a word to jump off the page and say “here’s the answer!”
As I continued to read however, my eyes became fixated on God rather than the wait. Instead of doubting myself, I became convinced of God’s sovereignty - of His impeccable timing. Rather than beg and plead each morning, I was reminded of all the times He had previously showed up in my life and the lives of others. THIS then became my focus.
Suddenly it didn’t matter if I had it wrong or if my calling was this way or that. God became important to me. As I saturated my heart with God’s grace, His faithfulness became my lifeline. It didn’t happen overnight, but the pursuit was everything.
There is so much that happens in the space between - on that blank page. An entire generation came and went without experiencing the Lord. Lives were lived on that page. We live much of our lives on that blank page, friend, but we get to decide what we are going to do with it.
Embrace the wait.
The Good News is waiting to burst forth on that next page. But there is also good news in the wait. God is here too.