Stuck In The Middle
Posted by Martha Wilson, July 18, 2023
As the youngest of three children, my permanent place for travel was in the middle seat. On long trips, as the arguing escalated with “she touched me, and she’s in my space,” my parents would allow me to climb over the seat and sit in the middle of them. I know some younger readers are in shock, but this was allowed when I was a child! Of course, my parents were more patient and allowed me to touch them and even lay my head on their shoulder. I quickly learned that being stuck in the middle was not always bad. In the front middle seat, I could lay my head on my mom’s lap and stretch my legs into Daddy’s space. Now that is real love!
As an adult, I have learned that being stuck in the middle is a beautiful place. What do I mean? It is a place of strength and comfort. I am stronger, with one on my right and the other on my left. Living in close community with others prods me to rise and be a woman of stronger faith.
God intentionally positions us within the family of God. We don’t always love our seats and positions in this family, but we are strategically placed by God’s hand. Have you ever felt that God has placed you beside a complaining sibling? I find that the undesirable seat is often where God teaches us how to live in unity. We often lack grace for the younger in the faith, and sometimes, we are secretly relieved when they climb into another seat.
Not only does scripture tell us we are family, but also part of an active army. We live in a spiritual battle that is raging louder and louder, and we desperately need unity. If we could just learn to stand firm, arm in arm and shoulder to shoulder, as if in combat form, we could advance the Kingdom of God together. Your strengths will build up my weaknesses. When you fall, I can help you up. When the lies seem louder than the truth, you can shout out the truth for me to hear. When one is tired, the other can run ahead, blazing a path of victory.
Why travel alone when you have a family and an army to do life with?
The enemy will trick you into believing it is easier to do it alone instead of learning to live in unity. We gather in our local churches, bible study groups, accountability groups, and mission teams, and together, we seek to live for His glory. It works best when we are in sync and keep the focus on loving God and loving one another.
Paul instructs the Philippians and us how to live this way.
“Only [be sure to] lead your lives in a manner [that will be] worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I do come and see you or remain absent, I will hear about you that you are standing firm in one spirit [and one purpose], with one mind striving side by side [as if in combat] for the faith of the gospel.” Philippians 1:27-28 AMP
Whether we like to admit it or not, we need each other.
We pretend to be strong and confident while bypassing the benefits of belonging to a family. Recently, I found myself surrounded by women that I love and trust. As we prepared to leave, I bravely stepped forward and humbly said, “I’m putting myself in the middle because I need prayer. I am scared. I am sick to my stomach. I don’t know how to do this.” They pressed in close and began to pray. Their prayers reached heaven on my behalf, and peace wrapped me up like a warm fuzzy blanket. I felt the love and security of the little girl on the front seat between my loving parents. I exited the doors a stronger woman, ready to face the battles ahead.
Being stuck in the middle with those who know how to fight for you is a privilege.
Let us be the love and comfort of the Lord. Let’s scoot over and make room for one another. Let’s help one another grow and mature in Christ. Let’s be the family God intended us to be.
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who fallsand has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
Martha Wilson is a writer, speaker, blogger and co-host of “A Burst of Hope” weekly podcast. She is the founder and director of Touching Hearts Ministries for women. She has led women to pursue an intimate relationship with Jesus for most of her adult life. She is bold, tender, and transparent as she teaches women to embrace powerful Biblical truths. Martha and her husband, Ed, live in Fayetteville, Georgia, and enjoy their blended family of five children, eight grandchildren, and one great-granddaughter. You can connect with Martha at: Facebook and Instagram @TouchingHeartsMinistries or listen to the A Burst of Hope Podcast.