The Tension of the No Longer and the Not Yet

Here we are in this weird almost, but not quite, post-pandemic space. Things are not as bad as they were, but we’re nowhere near what we hope our new normal will look like. Vaccine rates are up, but so are COVID rates. We can see the finish line, but we’ve still have to finish the race.

As Christians we should be familiar with this feeling. We exist in the no longer and the not yet.

Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known.

1 John 3:2

As we live and grow in Christ, we move away from who and what we were, but we’re still not all that we will be when the kingdom comes. We work to make this world a better place, but we know that the work will not be complete until Christ comes again.

So we exist in the no longer and not yet on many levels right now.

Grandchildren no longer have to be kept away from vaccinated grandparents, but many are still not back to in-person classes.

Workplaces are reopening, but some jobs have gone away and aren’t coming back.

In NYC, restaurants are reopening with limited capacity, but Broadway is still dark.

Some churches are back to in-person worship, some have used the warmer weather to embrace outdoor worship and others are remaining virtual until the entire community is vaccinated. But no matter how people are gathering in worship, it wasn’t what it was before, and what it will become is not yet known.

We are no longer what we were before, but not all that we will be. There is much tension in this kind of space. Grateful that we are moving in the right direction, but impatient and anxious for what is to come next.

In our anxiety and impatience, may we never cease to remember that God is working in all of it. God is moving in ways that we may only see in hindsight and in other ways that we may never be aware of–but be assured, God is at work!

See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.

Isaiah 43:19

Let us continue our journey in this uncomfortable uncertainty, knowing that we can be certain the God is in all of it…and hard at work making a new thing and a new way.

Rev. Anne Russ is an ordained pastor in the Presbyterian Church (USA), currently based in New York City. Doubting Believer provides tools and encouragement for the rollercoaster ride of your faith journey. Follow me on Facebook , Instagram and YouTube. You can also follow on TikTok. Get emails to keep up with all that is happening.

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