You may remember playing this wonderful game “limbo” at birthday parties and block parties growing up. The words “how low can you go?” would echo around you as someone held the limbo pole, determining how low or high you would need to go. The lower the pole got, pressure increased, your trust was tested, and great flexibility was required.
There’s a lot of seasons in life that we would say, “I’m living in limbo.” The transition from college to the “real world”, being between jobs, being engaged and waiting to be married, and moving from one location to another. Oftentimes when we’re living in limbo the conditions are uncertain, the amount of time is unknown, and the destination may even be questionable.
Throughout this last season of living in limbo I’ve discovered that God has some pruning to do, some growth to produce, and some nuggets of wisdom to give. Oftentimes my conditions have been unknown. There have been periods of time where I didn’t know how God would provide simple things like a place to live or a car to drive! The amount of time in living in limbo has been unknown. When we say “yes” to what God asks of us, He often doesn’t give us a run-down of the conditions, the length of time, and all the details. But what He does give and promise us is His Spirit and providence. As I’ve walked this season of living in limbo, I’ve seen just how much the Lord has to teach us in the process, in the waiting, in the unknown.
- I may not know what lies ahead, but I know the One who does. I give a big sigh of relief at the realization that Jesus knows exactly what lies ahead. If we are in Christ, we can loosen our grip and remember that Jesus is in control of what lies ahead. As 1 Thessalonians 5 says, “He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.” As children of God we can actively decide to say, “I don’t know what lies ahead, what the conditions are, how long this will be, but Jesus I trust you.“
- I know the One who holds it all is trustworthy. The relief of living in limbo is that we know the one who’s holding the limbo pole, so to speak. However, throughout this journey of living in limbo, we’ll come to discover the daily rhythm of Jesus asking, “Do you trust Me?” It’s not about trusting the process, the circumstances, or even the supposed destination. But do you trust Him? Do you trust that He has plans for a future and a hope? Do you trust that He is working all things together for your good? While living in limbo, sometimes through tears, sometimes with unspeakable joy, sometimes with open hands and other times with clenched fists, we repeat back, “I do trust you, Lord.”
- I know the One who holds it all will sustain. While you’re living in the land of the in between, you’re going to have lots of “God sightings.” Don’t miss these! Somehow, living in limbo produces a spiritual amnesia of sorts. We forget the faithfulness and goodness of our God. But these reminders and this grace from the Lord are just a small part of what will sustain us. As Romans 5 says, we can rejoice in this journey as it produces endurance, character and hope!
- I know the One who holds it all has good plans. If we truly believe that our God is good and has our best interest in mind, then we have nothing to fear. As Proverbs reminds us multiple times, we are to trust in our God and not in our own understanding, for His ways are not our ways. As we continually say “I trust you, Lord” and submit to His plans, His timing, His will, we can rest in His goodness.
I’ve been living in limbo for a little while now. I’ve transitioned out of my job and I’m ready to move to Croatia and begin work there. It’s been one of the most faith-shaping times of my life to live in limbo and wait for God to provide and trust that His timing is perfect. The conditions of this waiting have been uncertain and the amount of time is unknown. So often people ask me, “So when are you leaving?” The easy response is whenever 100% of my support comes in. Truth be told, it could be one month from now or three months from now. All I know is that I will leave in God’s timing as He continues to provide. I am praying and trusting that I’ll be leaving earlier rather than later.
Corrie ten Boom once said, “Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.” As I continue to live in limbo, Jesus continues to ask me, “Do you trust me? Do you trust that I will sustain you? Do you trust that my timing is perfect?” And I do.
I trust Jesus because I know He is trustworthy, He is faithful, and He will sustain me. So whether you are waiting to hear back from a doctor about an unknown health issue, figuring out post-college plans, waiting to hear back about a job opportunity, or waiting desperately for God to provide a child, will you trust Him?