In the meantime…

Cause sometimes living takes the life out of you
And sometimes living is all you can do
Life is hard, the world is cold
We’re barely young and then we’re old

It was roughly 17 years ago when I would often hear friends of mine sing these words. I hadn’t given this song much, if any, thought until recently when it started floating around in my thoughts.  While going about the day I occasionally find myself humming the words. I reminisce about life at 19, and it occurs to me that I didn’t really feel the weight of that chorus back then.

As a Christian, I believe in what is referred to as “Already, not yet” theology.  Meaning that Christ has died and risen for His glory and to provide rescue to me for my sins. I am already righteous before God because of Christ’s work on the cross.  At the same time I am living with and affected by a world still broken and ravaged by the same sin I have been saved from. By faith, I believe the day will come when Christ abolishes sin and reconciles the world into perfect harmony with Him. But that hasn’t happened yet.

Today, we find ourselves living between these two realties. We live between what has happened in the past and what will happen in the future. We are living in the meantime.

In the meantime living is hard. Cancer happens in the meantime. War happens in the meantime. A polarized, ugly lack of national civility happens in the meantime. Millions of refugees and orphans find themselves suffering in the meantime. Racism happens in the meantime. Kids wear you down in the meantime. Relationships grow cold or become strained in the meantime. People you love pass away in the meantime. Life can be a grind in the meantime.

It is in the meantime that I find myself singing under my breath, “Life is hard, the world is cold, We’re barely young and then we’re old.”

So what do we do in the meantime? How should we live in light of past and future realities? As a Christian, how do we live with joy in a fallen world? The Apostle Paul helps us here:

Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. – 1st Corinthians 15:1-2

It’s easy to be overcome with grief and discouragement when we look around us. It’s hard to have joy when you look around you. This is why Paul encourages us to look back AND to look forward. There is Good News (gospel) when we look back at what Christ has done for us in His death and resurrection. We have been gloriously and gracefully forgiven. We have been redeemed and adopted into the family of God. Nothing in the meantime can change that. There is also good news that we are “being saved”.  Jesus’s plan is not finished and with great anticipation we look forward to the day when the spear and bow are broken. When the poor and oppressed are vindicated. When sin and sorrow are banished. We look forward to the day Jesus makes all things whole – including finishing His work in us.

In the meantime it is important that I remember to sing all the lyrics to the song…

Jesus never said
It was an easy road to travel
He only said that you would never be alone
So when your last thread of hope
Begins to come unraveled
Don’t give up, He walks beside you
On this journey home and He knows

Life is hard, the world is cold
We’re barely young and then we’re old
But every falling tear is always understood
Yes, life is hard, but God is good

2 thoughts on “In the meantime…

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