Monday, January 21, 2013
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Oh, every child loves a circus. And I think there's a child inside of all of us that never grows up. I still love the circus, don't you? I've always been personally fascinated by those death-defying artists from the high trapeze. Hey, wait a minute, I feel like a ring master. I'm trying to get the job, anyway, today. They leap, perfect poise, grace, one trapeze to another, until they end up safe on that platform all the way across the arena from where they started. And I guess you could eventually get used to hanging onto a trapeze, and you'd feel comparatively secure as soon as you reached the next one. My problem would be the time between trapezes. Yeah, that would bother me. Actually, it bothers all of us.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Living Between Trapezes."
Now, our word for today from the Word of God comes from Jeremiah 29. And you might, like God's people in this passage, be living between trapezes right now. One phase of your life is behind you, and you're counting on a new one up ahead. But right now you're in one of life's great like in-between times. We all go through those. Well, so were the people of God that he was advising in Jeremiah 29. The Jews were in a temporary spot, so to speak, between two permanent spots. They had started out in Israel, they will end up back in Israel, but right now they're between trapezes. They are in-between in captivity in Babylon. It's a temporary place.
Here are instructions given by God for people between trapezes. He says, "Build houses, settle down, plant gardens and eat what they produce, marry and have sons and daughters, find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage. Increase in number there and do not decrease. Also, seek the prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper."
Now, the message seems to be this: when you're in-between, don't hold back. Live as if you're going to be there the rest of your life. He uses words like build, settle, plant, increase, work for the good of that city, improve where you are. I can hear you saying, "But Lord, this isn't where we want to be. We just want to 'get by' until we, you know, get to where we want to be." Well, Jeremiah 29:11 is that great verse that so many people quote, where God says, "I know the plans I have for you..." (Now remember, it just follows everything I read before.) "I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a hope and a future."
See, God's good plans for tomorrow come from you living whole-heartedly today between trapezes. Today maybe you're not where you want to end up, you're between jobs, or you're in one that's just a stop-gap. Or you're single, waiting, wanting to be married. Maybe you're living in a temporary situation or waiting for some breakthrough. Well, like the Jews of old, it's just an in-between place. But like them, God expects you to build there, to plant there, to increase, to improve that place. And as you do, you give God the attitude that He can use to ultimately bring you His very best.
If you're in between trapezes right now, remember, this is a terrible place to lose your concentration. Bloom where you're planted. Be all you can be right where you are. Actually that's the best way to get safely to the destination that you want so much.