Limbo

According to the dictionary, limbo has some unusual definitions:

  • a region on the border of hell or heaven; 
  • an intermediate, transitional, or midway state or place; 
  • a place or state of imprisonment or confinement.

Have you ever felt you were in limbo? I have, and it does sometimes feel like a place of imprisonment. As a follower of Jesus Christ, I’ve been wondering why I should ever be in limbo. And I have come to the conclusion that it’s because I’m in such a hurry to arrive someplace.

We get so anxious to get somewhere — anywhere — and while we are between two points we feel the transitional state very acutely… and it often feels like prison.

But I think God is more interested in our development process than He is in our destination. There is Bible verse quoted often when people are in limbo, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him…” (Romans 8:28). But the verb tense here is not a destination verb but a process verb. It’s better stated, “And we know that in all things God is working for the good of those who love Him.”

Look at the differences —

  • “I really thought I was supposed to get that job” [destination focus] versus “Here’s what God taught me while I was pursuing that job” [process focus]. 
  • “What am I supposed to do next, God?” [destination focus] versus “What are you teaching me while I wait on You?” [process focus] 
  • “Why did it turn out this way?” [destination focus] versus “Here’s how I grew through this time” [process focus]

Limbo isn’t fun (or as one of my friends said on Facebook this morning, “A life in limbo sucks”)! But it is in the limbo times — the times of process — that we learn the most about all of the good that God is working in us and through us.

If you feel like you’re in limbo today, take your eyes off a destination, and look at the process. Believe me, this is a lesson I am learning right now… big time! What limbo lessons have you learned — or should I say, what limbo lessons are you learning right now?

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