Intermission by Sharon Jaynes
A few years ago, the epic drama, Gone with the Wind, was re-released in theaters all across America. This digitally enhanced, chromatically improved icon took us back to a time in history when American was experiencing a paradigm shift. My husband and I thought it would be important for our teenage son to have the Gone with the Wind experience on the big screen so we purchased three tickets and then settled in for what we knew would be a long evening.
After about two hours, we got to the scene where a sullied Miss Scarlet, deserted by Rhett, stood on a hilltop with Atlanta burning the background, collapsed to the ground, and slowly pulled herself into an upright position. With fist held high, she declared that she would make it through this trial and "As God is my witness," she proclaimed, "I will never be hungry again!" Then the curtain fell, and Steven turned to me and said, "That was a strange way to end."
"Oh, but look," I replied. Then he saw the words "intermission" imposed over the curtain.
"You've got to be kidding," Steven said.
"Nope," we're only halfway done."
You know, I've identified with Miss Scarlett on several occasions. Sometimes life just gets so complicated and it seems as if dreams have been snatched away by some foreign rebel force. My previous way of life is up in flames in the background, my man doesn't understand, and my friends have all run for cover. What will I do? Where will I go? Is this the end!
Then as the curtain falls on this scene in my life, I think to myself, this is a strange way to end. But I look again and see God pointing to the screen as if to say, This, my child, is not the end. It is but the intermission. Get up. Take a break. Stretch if you must. But the movie of your life is not over yet.
Looking back in the Bible, many men and women came to a point in their lives where they thought it was the end, only later to discover it was merely an intermission. Elijah hid in a cave thinking his ministry was over. Moses herded sheep in the desert believing his dream to rescue the Hebrews was dashed. Jonah made his bed under the shade of a plant and lay down to die. The prophet Samuel groveled in depression after his charge, King Saul, disobeyed God and lost his reign. Each of these men thought it was the end, but in reality, it was only an intermission. God wasn't finished with the drama of their lives quite yet.
I don't know what you're facing today. Perhaps your life has taken you to an unexpected place. Perhaps, like Moses, you've made a poor decision that resulted in you running from God and from man. Perhaps like Elijah, you've allowed someone's threats to put fear in your heart and you're in hiding. Perhaps like Jonah, you've obeyed God, but feel duped because your obedience didn't bring the results you'd hoped for. Perhaps like Samuel, you're depressed because someone you oversee (a child, for example) didn't turn out like you had hoped. With your dreams burning in the background, perhaps you've stood on the hillside with fist raised in the air making declarations to God.
If you see yourself on the screen, can I encourage you sit down, take a deep breath, stretch, and regroup. The story's not over yet. Perhaps you're just at an intermission. As someone once said, we shouldn't put a period where God put a comma.....