Meanwhile, the word of God continued to spread, and there were many new believers. Acts 12:24 (NLT)
I have always had an adverse reaction to the word meanwhile. Mostly, around cooking. I like to cook (unless I feel like I have to.) I am also not a fancy cook. My food tastes good and is served with lots of love but Martha Stewart I am not. And I am really okay with that.
So when I go and look for a new recipe I want simple. If there are too many steps, I pass. If it has some steps and one of them starts with Meanwhile, I move on. Meanwhile to me means while you are trying to get all this done over here, do this as well. Too many complications makes my brain want to move on. My brain does too many complications by itself without the help of instructions.
The other day though I was thinking about God and how with him there is always a meanwhile.
In Genesis 19:12 it says Meanwhile, the angels questioned Lot. “Do you have any other relatives here in the city?” they asked. “Get them out of this place—your sons-in-law, sons, daughters, or anyone else.” While the angels were trying to save Lot, they were also trying to save his family.
In Joshua 3:17 it reads ‘Meanwhile, the priests who were carrying the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant stood on dry ground in the middle of the riverbed as the people passed by. They waited there until the whole nation of Israel had crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’ God held back the waters of the Jordan so the people could safely cross.
And in Matthew 26:69 the Bible says ‘Meanwhile, Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. A servant girl came over and said to him, “You were one of those with Jesus the Galilean.”’ As Peter was protecting himself, Jesus was protecting us.
There are a lot of meanwhiles in the Bible. And there are a lot of meanwhiles in our lives. As we are walking through really difficult situations, God is at work. He is not like me when I give up on a recipe because it has too many steps. No matter how complicated it seems, he is in the middle of it. He sticks with us and keeps at it. We may not see all the meanwhiles in our lives until we get to Heaven but I know when we see them, we will know anew how much we were loved.
Meanwhile God is at work on your behalf to finish the work he started in you. Philippians 1:6