Life in the “In-Betweens”

Jim Capaldo

District Executive Minister, Converge Heartland

  • Discipleship & spiritual formation

The new year has arrived, and the season of holiday-feast-driven stretchy pants will eventually come to an end. As for now, we are in between.  We are in between academic semesters, in between harvest and planting, in between bred heifers and springing heifers, in between stated resolutions and realized resolutions, in between fresh vision and realized vision, and perhaps most importantly, in between college football championships and March Madness…but I digress. We are constantly living in between the past and the future, in between the old and the new, in between what was and what will be, and in between the first and the last.  Beginnings are but a moment and endings become historical snapshots, but our energies are primarily spent in between. Regardless of our life season, it is primarily what happens in the in-betweens that grows our grit, reveals our resolve, and casts our character. 

I am moved by what happened with Mary, Joseph, and Jesus during their family’s first “in-between.” Namely, in between the advent of Jesus’s birth and their eventual return to Nazareth as recorded in the second Matthew. I am in awe at the wise men’s resolve and sacrifice to find and worship the newborn Messiah (Matt. 2:1-12). I am comforted that God pre-ordained a plan to protect Joseph, Mary, and Jesus in Egypt (Matt. 2:13-15, Hosea 11:1). I am silenced by the overwhelming lament of parents upon Herrod’s massacre of the young innocents (Matt. 2:16-18). I am thankful that God gave safety and direction to Joseph, Mary, Jesus, by letting them know it was safe to return to Israel (Matthew 2:19-23). However, I am most encouraged by what Joseph practically did during this “in-between” season.  He listened intently to God, and he obediently acted upon God’s direction and prompting. When God said rise and take your family to Egypt, Joseph rose and took his family to Egypt (Matt. 2:14).  When God said rise and take your family back to Israel, Joseph rose and took his family to Israel (Matt. 2:14,21). Oh, to simply hear and obey the words of God!

May we glean this deceivingly simple lesson from Joseph regarding our in-betweens.  Oh, that we would attentively adhere to God’s word and obey His prompting in our lives.  Throughout this year, may we daily spend and enjoy time hearing from God in his word. May we daily experience the grace and strength to following his promptings. May we experience the rewarding satisfaction of living in surrender to our Lord and Savior throughout life’s beginnings, endings, and in-betweens.

To God be the glory!


Jim Capaldo, District Executive Minister, Converge Heartland

A graduate of Baptist Bible College, Western Seminary, Novosibirsk State University and the University of South Dakota, Jim served 11 years establishing a church planting movement among the formerly unreached Tuvan tribe of Siberian Russia. Besides church planting, he has pastored at ChangePoint Church in Anchorage, Alaska, and at Central Church in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, facilitates StratOp retreats, serves on various ministry boards and regularly instructs for the Perspectives on the World Christian Movement course.

Additional articles by Jim Capaldo