What do I mean by this? Definitely not the classic undefined place between purgatory and heaven, but the state of having no purpose and no direction in the midst of situations well beyond your control to fix and no visible escape hatch: an agonising place of waiting for God to show His hand.
I take a little comfort in the verse and response that begins Morning Prayer, viz
V. O God, come to our aid.
R. O Lord, make haste to help us
– because it indicates that many others of our brothers and sisters in past generations must have felt the same way. Firstly that they were in significant need: and secondly that they felt that God was more than a bit slow in showing up to fix it.
The Psalmist in Psalm 12(13) seems to feel the same way too:
How long, O Lord, will You forget me?
How long will You hide Your face?
How long must I bear grief in my soul,
this sorrow in my heart day and night?
How long shall my enemy prevail?
I think it means we are entitled to ask God what His purpose is in permitting us to undergo this agony of seeing nothing but ashes as the fruit of our efforts (efforts we honestly felt He wanted) and nothing but defeat, decay and distress compounded by dysfunctional leadership around us.
It only makes it worse when people say, 'don't worry; be happy' or remind you that we are supposed to be bearers of Gospel joy, and that it is the joy in our lives that attracts others to Jesus.
About the only thing this limbo situation makes us do is increase our willingness to do anything, absolutely anything, no matter how far-fetched or distasteful, to get out of it.
And still heaven appears to remain silent to our pleas.
How is it so, that the God who tells us that the fields are ripe for harvest has us kicking our heels doing absolutely nothing? Doesn't He realise that making us feel side-lined makes us feel even worse, and unwanted and of no use?
We groan with the Psalmist in these verses from Psalm 42(43):
Since You, O God, are my stronghold,
why have You rejected me?
Why do I go mourning
oppressed by the foe?
All we have to go on is that this must be normal, since St Peter says (1 Peter 1:6-7):
Even though you may for a short time have to bear being plagued by all sorts of trials, so that, when Jesus Christ is revealed, your faith will have been tested and proved like gold – only it is more precious than gold, which is corruptible even though it bears testing by fire – and then you will have praise and glory and honour.
(P.S. It doesn't make me feel any better, either.)
How on earth this is evidence of His faithful love, kindness and goodness is a complete mystery!
Let us remind Him that even if to Him a thousand years is no more than a day, we don't have that long on earth, and would He please remember us before there is nothing left of us to resurrect.