Is it just me or do you ever feel stuck in the middle?
There’s no place like the beach to make you compare yourself to everyone around you. As I walked around the beach yesterday, I saw women bigger than me and smaller than me. I saw people richer than me and poorer than me. I wasn’t the most beautiful girl on the beach by far, but my husband would say I certainly wasn’t the least beautiful.
Everywhere I turned, I felt so average, so middle of the row.
I feel like that in life pretty often, too. I don’t have the biggest house or nicest car, but mine aren’t the worst around. My job doesn’t pay the largest salary, but it’s more than minimum wage. I don’t pay people to clean my toilets, but I have a toilet to use, which is more than some can say. I’m not lower class or upper class – I’m definitely just living that middle class life. In pretty much every area, I feel like I land right on the fifty. I’m not scoring many touchdowns, but I’m not on the bench either. I’m in the game just playing my own position as well as possible.
But sometimes I do want to score the touchdowns. I grew up overachieving, winning titles like Valedictorian and Class President because I couldn’t stand the thought of being in the middle and definitely not the bottom. And I know that God made us for more. He made us with this desire to be extraordinary – not just ordinary. But our human minds twist that to think we have to strive and stress to get to the top in every single area of life. What if He wants us to just go above and beyond right where we are, even if that is the middle?
It’s easy to feel stuck in the middle at church, too. I’m not on staff or leading worship, but I am serving and trying not to miss a Sunday. We let ourselves fall into that trap of ranking ourselves no matter where we go, even church – the place we should feel the most safe. God does not look down at the church and put us in order: pastor, singer, greeter, attender… nope – He does not have a list. You know what He sees? Child, follower, lover, learner, worshipper. Yeah – that’d be His list if He had one. None of them outweigh any of the others. He doesn’t see a beginning, middle, or end – He just sees all of His kids loving Him and each other.
Are you in the middle of a dream you’re pursuing or a relationship you wish would move further? Do you feel stuck in the middle of a job you just don’t love anymore?
The enemy uses the middle to make you feel like you can’t move, but God grows your ministry in the middle.
There are truths in His word that prove that you matter – in the middle, scoring the touchdown, or just making it through the day.
1. The middle is not wasted.
“For the Lord your God has blessed you in all that you have done; He has known your wanderings through this great wilderness These forty years the Lord your God has been with you; you have not lacked a thing.”
God is with you no matter what your middle looks like and He is not wasting a single moment. When His people walked through the wilderness in The Bible, He was with them and you are one of His people, too.
2. The wait is worth it.
“The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.”
If you’re in the middle of a waiting season, the Lord will be good to you. Keep seeking Him and watch His plans for you unfold in ways you prayed for and ways you never could have dreamt up by yourself.
3. Be content with who and where you are.
“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.”
When you look to your right and left and compare yourself to all that is around you, remember that you can choose contentment. Whether you have plenty or want more, your heart can be content. You have the power over comparison.
4. God is in the middle.
“Don’t fear, because I am with you; don’t be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will surely help you; I will hold you with my righteous strong hand.”
Rich or poor, skinny or not, God is with you. He does not discriminate and does not care where you are from or where you work – He is just with you always. He will always hold you up with His strong, righteous hand.
5. God does not play favorites.
“For God does not show favoritism.”
The Romans verse is simple and to the point – God does not have a favorite child. Even if you’re the middle child, He loves you exactly like your siblings on either side. His love never runs out and is spread evenly across the earth. You will never have to fight for His attention.
Next time you feel like you just aren’t quite good enough and a little too average, remember that God doesn’t think so. He thinks you’re pretty perfect the way you are and can’t wait to see you experience more through Him. If you feel stuck in the middle, just stick with Him and ask Him to show you how He sees you and what you can learn right where you are.