Are We There Yet?

On Sunday, April 12, 2020, I was at home resting on my sofa. Earlier that day I had celebrated my risen Savior from that same sofa. It was odd, but I was relieved; the season of Lent was over. And I was ready to enter “ordinary time”—a season marked on the Christian calendar. To my dismay, I discovered that ordinary time was still 50 days away! The season of Easter continues through Pentecost. I felt like I was in the back seat of my parents’ car, whining, “Are we there yet?” I wanted to arrive at my preferred destination—normalcy—but it was not yet time.

One week later, my understanding deepened. I heard my Father answer, “No, we are not THERE yet, but we are HERE, and I am here.” My focus immediately shifted from a future destination to my present reality and from a place to a Person.

Here Today

“Be where you are” is advice I often hear spoken in our distracted and hurried culture. We are consistently encouraged to be fully present. Now that my normal routine is interrupted and so much of the future is uncertain, I admit my need to refocus. Restlessness, impatience, wanderlust, and—let’s be honest—complaining need to be noticed, confessed, and cleared from my soul. Now is a good time to ask, “What have I overlooked or ignored that needs my attention?” The “here and now” is a good time to repair a broken relationship or finish an incomplete project.

With God

When I hear, “And I am here,” my paradigm changes. I am not held hostage, waiting to reach a destination. Instead, I see myself on pilgrimage with the God who has promised, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). While sheltering at home, I am not in a holding pattern. A deeper work is taking place. With the Psalmist, I pray, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting” (Ps. 139:23–34). This is my opportunity to be made new.

Here We Are  

Here we are. Today. On the other side of Easter. The transforming Resurrection power of the gospel is available—today. For me. For you. For all. “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts” (Heb. 4:7). Let’s make the most of the opportunities God has for us in the present.

Jen Vogel

Jen served as national director for Alliance Women from 2015-2023; she serves in a variety of ministry capacities, including on the President's Cabinet for The Alliance. She enjoys reading, travel, and completing the New York Times crossword puzzle daily. Jen and her husband, Doug, attend Dover Avenue Alliance Church in Orange City, Iowa.

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