Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage.
—Psalm 27:14

New beginnings often require us to endure an “intermission”—or a time of waiting for God’s direction. An intermission is the time between your failure and your future. It is that lull between your termination from one job and employment in another job, your divorce and another relationship, or your bankruptcy and financial solvency.

When we fail, we wonder if the final curtain has come down on our life story. But God delights in creating second acts for His children. However, experiencing an enjoyable and rewarding second act after a major failure usually requires enduring an intermission.

Most people hate waiting. Our natural tendency is to rush from one job to the next job or from one relationship to the next relationship. Yet throughout the Bible God used intermissions in the lives of His people to prepare them for a better future.

  • The apostle Peter’s intermission was the seven weeks between his denial of Christ and his sermon on the Day of Pentecost. During this interval the resurrected Christ appeared to Peter, assured him of His forgiveness, and reminded him of his calling in life (John 21:17).
  • The apostle Paul experienced a three-year intermission between his transformation from the greatest persecutor of Christianity to the greatest evangelist in history.
  • Moses’ 40 years in the desert was an intermission during which God taught him lessons that prepared him for his second act (which began at age 80!).

Although most of us have a built-in aversion to intermissions, it is important to remember that waiting time does not have to be wasted time. Instead of bemoaning intermissions, we can benefit from them if we use these life interludes in helpful ways.

Our time in the “waiting room” can replenish our emotional and physical energy. Failure drains our strength. Understanding that reality, God often provides us with an intermission (often against our will) during which we can recharge our depleted emotional and physical batteries, regain our perspective, and eventually resume our life story. Intermissions can also provide us with the time to reflect on our failure so that we don’t repeat our mistake and also reflect on what we believe God wants us to do in the future. Once the intermission has concluded, it is time to start over with a new beginning.

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Today’s devotion is excerpted from “How Can I Know How to Start Over When I’ve Blown It?” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2012.

Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

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