The Land Between

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Posted 24 Aug 2010 in Family, GCM, Illini Life, Jesus, Ministry, Scripture, Spirituality

As I type today, I’m reminded that it’s just been 2 short weeks since I started my regular trips to the Chicago suburbs. Yet in just two weeks a rhythm has started, there is a flow of my week and time seems to pass quickly now. I miss being in Champaign, especially this week as classes get started at U of I and I-Life gets moving again. There are stories almost daily of new friendships being formed as our students, leaders and staff step into the dorms and initiate with other students.

Life-long friendships, mutual discipleship, Christ-centered relationships – all forming as the faithful pick up the phone or send a text message.

“Hey, this is Nick M. from Illini Life Christian Fellowship. Hoping to see you at the Fall Preview tonight @ Illini Union 8:00PM”

Faithfulness for me this year looks a little different. I’m not on campus meeting new students this fall – the first time in 9 years. For me faithfulness looks like dialing the phone for the 50th time this week, to see if I can connect with another person in an effort to share about my work as a campus missionary.

I miss campus, I miss my wife, I miss my friends and my own bed; but this is good. It’s The Land Between.

Just as Israel had the desert to cross between Egypt and the Promised land, so a missionary has support raising between the initial calling and released to assignment. It’s The Land Between where God chisels away at the rough edges, softens the hardened heart and strengthens His call. The Land Between is where God speaks softly and quietly, reminding of His goodness and provision.

In The Land Between I have the choice to embrace and trust a God who I know is good or run to quick fixes to numb the pain of rejection, boredom of idleness, and loneliness of isolation. If the story of Israel teaches me anything, I’ll take God over the quick fixes, they just leads to wandering for longer.

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