How you get from where you are to where you want to be is all about the “in-between.”
The “in-between” consists of time, learning, growth, and refinement. It is VITAL to not only get to where you want to be but also to be able to handle it once you get there.
If you woke up tomorrow with the talent of an Olympic athlete, all you would have is the talent. You wouldn’t have the mindset of an Olympic athlete, so you couldn’t succeed as an one.
Joseph is a man in the Bible who’s remembered for his “in between.” It was a journey that started when he was seventeen years old. God showed Joseph that one day he would be king through his dreams. After he told his brothers, they became full of jealousy and sold him into slavery. Joseph then became a slave to an Egyptian officer and this officer saw that Joseph had favor with the Lord and quickly promoted him to a personal assistant. Joseph oversaw all of the officer’s home and everything he owned. This included land, livestock, and crops. After working as the officer’s assistant, the officer’s wife asked Joseph to sleep with her. He refused, stating it would be a sin against God and a betrayal against the officer. She ended up making a false claim against him stating he raped her and because of this he was thrown into prison, the same prison where the Pharaoh held his prisoners.
While in prison, Joseph had favor with the warden and was put in charge of all the prisoners and everything that happened within the prison. Sometime later, Pharaoh became angry with two of his officials and sent them to the same prison Joseph oversaw. While there, the two officials had dreams that Joseph accurately interpreted. The officials were released and forgot all about Joseph and his correct interpretations. Two full years went by and Pharaoh had dreams he wanted to be interpreted, that is when his one official remembered Joseph. Pharaoh had Joseph brought to him and Joseph accurately interpreted the dreams. Pharaoh was so impressed by Joseph and his favor with God that he made Joseph in charge of everything and everyone. The only person ranked higher than Joseph was Pharaoh himself. Joseph was thirty years old when he became the king of Egypt.
There are many lessons we can learn from this story of Joseph.
Time and Learning: Joseph was seventeen when he first dreamed of becoming king and it wasn’t until he was thirty that he earned the title. That is thirteen years of an “in-between.” Thirteen years where Joseph learned how to be a manager and was held accountable. He took the time to learn great business skills managing the prison, personal skills managing the people, and organizational skills managing properties and livestock.
Growth and Refinement: No matter where Joseph was sent, he worked hard and had the favor of God over him. He proved himself to be trustworthy and was never too good or not good enough for any job put in front of him. In the entire story, there is no mention of Joseph complaining. The only characteristic about him listed was he had God’s favor, which is why he became successful at everything he did.
There is a process to get to where you want to be. Don’t negate the “in-between” out of fear. Don’t try to rush the “in-between” because you are impatient or uncomfortable. Joseph wouldn’t have been successful had he woke up the next day king of Egypt. How would he know how to care for the land, livestock, and properties without being the officers assistant first? How would he know how to run a prison, the workers of the prison, and the prisoners themselves without being over one? All along he was training to be king so when the day came and he was king, he could actually do the job.
People have dreams and desires for their life and they feel so far from it, that they don’t even want to start the journey to get there. The difference between the people who have unreached dreams and those who live out their dreams rarely has to do with luck. The difference is, the people who live their dreams weren’t afraid of the “in-between.” They embrace that time, learn from it, and let it mold them even when it gets hard.
You have a calling and a purpose in your life. Don’t hold yourself back because you don’t want the “in-between.” As hard as it may be, embrace that time because when you finally get to where you want to be, you will be successful at whatever it is.
So what does this look like practically for your life?
Whenever opportunities present themselves for you to practice and learn, say yes! Like Joseph, you are never not good enough or too good for an opportunity. Maintain a Biblical standard of character and integrity and talk to others who are further towards your goal then you are. Take classes, read books, and have a personal mentor who you can learn from. Continue having faith in God’s plan and trust His path for you, because He only wants good for you, even during the “in-between.” It is a time of refinement and as hard or frustrating it may be at times, know that it is God preparing you for His plan.