From time to time I get a crazy word that will not quit dancing around in my head. Today has been one of those days. When I awoke, it was my first thought. While trying to drink my coffee, random thoughts about this word has caused me to envision it, wonder about it, define its many meanings, research it, and question why a crazy word would scroll, spin and skip across the screen of my mind like a fancy PowerPoint presentation! It has also tried to get my attention like an animated word trying to “show-off” what it can do, what it looks like, what it means….and what obviously God is trying to say about it… to me. I could not get to the computer fast enough to begin typing in all of the bazaar thoughts and images that seemed to be blasting through the door of my brain! Perhaps you cannot relate to the nagging call of words, but I often do. Yep, I call it a God moment! It’s a time when the Holy Spirit wants to reveal more of himself to me. As the word rides the carousel of my mind, I have learned to stop, listen, and explore. I don’t think I’m crazy, I think it’s just the way God designed my brain to think! I’d rather like to call it creative!
So I know you are dying to know which word has caused me to stop what I’m doing, think about it, research it, pray over it, and then relate to you my findings….Ready?
Gap! A simple little 3 letter word with OH so much meaning!
1. Gap: an unfilled space or interval; a break in continuity
2. a difference, esp. an undesirable one between two views or situations
3. a break or hole in an object or between two objects
4. a pass or way through…
Here in America, we have a department store that is even called GAP. What an interesting name for a store and why would anyone want to open a store called this since it seems to be a negative term? I began to think of it as the store that could not meet everyone’s need because there was a gap in the merchandise offered to its customers. This is totally not the case. I researched it on Snopes.com only to discover that it was first opened in 1969 because of the lack of jeans in most stores. The retailer took its name in homage to "the generation gap," a term popular in the late 1960s describing the intellectual, ethical, and social gulf between young people and their parents' generation. Now, the gap has been filled! There is GAP for baby, men, women, and kids! (That was just a side note!)
More examples of gap inundated my thinking. I thought about the gap in my zipper when my clothes are too tight, the gap of age differences between some of my friends, the gap of understanding or misunderstandings between generations, and the big gap of understanding scripture from a historical perspective that I often experience. There is also a gap of inability to accomplish tasks and often I need some one to fill it for me. Sometimes there is a gap in my schedule that allows me to do things for others or simply enjoy a quiet gap or interval of time.
I imagined a gap in a door with the light shining through. Then I questioned myself, “Am I shining spiritual light through a gap in the door of the dark places God sends me?” I imagined a gap as silence that was issued between my friend and me because of God’s plan for our separation and her life. I began to think about a gap as a void, and all the gaps that seem to have abstract bridges connecting space and time and circumstance. My imagination led me to start thinking of the ways and things that stand in the gap or bridge the gap in my life or hold a gap open. A substitute is also a form of filling a gap. As a teacher, there are times that I need someone to be my substitute, take my place. Many times Kathy and I “fill the gap” for one another when posting these blogs. Though we write them, it’s not always us (on our turn) that click the Publish Live button. Even Easter Sunday, I was ready to “stand in the gap” and conduct for Ken, our choir director and Kathy’s husband, in case they got an emergency call to be with their daughter for an early arrival of their new grandbaby!
Our thought process and response seems to want to fill in all gaps, those empty voids that stare us in the face. My mind quickly began to ponder stories in the Scriptures were “substitutes” or “gap-fillers” took place. And then in another moment, I began to notice that not all substitutes were good and gaps were fixed (or tried to be) by taking things into their own hand. (ie. Ishmael, a substitute son - Sarah and Hagar – Genesis 16) (David’s substitute method for carrying the Ark of the Covenant resulting in the death of Uzzah – 2 Samuel 6)
How often do we try to take matters into our own hands, even thinking that we are doing good? There have been many times that I have chosen to fill in the gap or seek a substitute…without first praying! Yep, that’s when I find myself in a mess! We all need to practice discernment before we jump into situations.
But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.
Whoever is wise, let him understand these things; Whoever is discerning, let him know them. For the ways of the LORD are right, and the righteous will walk in them, But transgressors will stumble in them.
And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ;
Pause….This is an interval of time (gap) that I have taken to continue to reflect upon and soak in lessons from the Lord about this tiny word… (it is now later in the week when I have continued to write to you). I also encourage you to PAUSE. Think about this word and how it relates to you or your life. Seriously, pause!!!!
I had a small crisis moment (well…for me) this week when I realized that I was not going to be able to complete a particular task without an extreme amount of stress added to my week. As I worked on it, the Lord began to remind me of ALL of the times that He has proved His faithfulness to me by providing others to help “fill the gap” for me with the many, many projects and time crunching events. I had a hard time trying to stop the names and situations from coming to my mind. They just kept flowing like a slow trickle from a leaky faucet. Then I realized how incredibly blessed I am that others would see my need and volunteer and/or help with these numerous situations.
I could continue for hours…
The tears began to flood my eyes as God revealed His great love to me through remembering the beautiful sacrifice of the help given through others. They stood in the gap for me, because they loved me! I have sat in awe just thinking about it. God has always sent someone along and that “someone” simply responded to His nudging. It’s His great design for help meeting our need! He sends others! I think it’s interesting that even at the beginning of time, God provided Adam with Eve so that they could work together to help meet the need for one another (Genesis 2:18); each sorta standing in the gap for one another. We all have different gifts and have need one for another. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
I recognize God’s hand in the midst of each crisis and also have learned to recognize two messages that He often repeats throughout my life: Trust me! I am Faithful.
Then, my mind journeyed to the greatest gap ever; the one that separated me from God. The separation (gap) between eternal life and death and as I closed my eyes, I recalled the image of the cross bridging that tremendous gorge. Oh the great love of God! Toward me! Jesus…standing as the substitute…taking the payment and punishment for my sin. (1 Peter 3:18) He has bridged the gap for me!
It is now just 7 days after Easter. I have thought about the many things Jesus did after the tomb was opened. After the resurrection, Jesus began to appear and reveal himself for 40 days speaking about the kingdom of God. On the day of His ascension, Jesus reminded His disciples of the promise of the Holy Spirit from the Father. I guess I kind of think about the Holy Spirit as a type of substitute for the physical being of Jesus, although they (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) are three in one. The Trinity! (Joshua 1: 5 & Hebrews 13:5)
Even when we don’t know how to pray or what to pray,
God has provided a way to fill the gap for that, too! The Holy Spirit! (Romans 8:26)
There is no generation gap with the Father. He has sent His son for all and He meets us where we are. As I recall more Biblical stories, He met everyone...man, woman, child, rich, poor, healthy, afflicted, those with great need and those who had it all (but Him). He met with kings and rulers, harlots and thieves. He has filled every gap!
Today I thank the Lord for His faithfulness in my life. I thank Him for the many opportunities to trust Him completely. I also thank Him for those whom He sends to help narrow the gap, fill the gap, brighten the gap and even bridge the gap! If you have been one of the many people in my life with whom I am referring, I am personally thanking you again…even now!
If you want to be blessed today, stop and think about the many ways that God has proved His faithfulness by providing “gap-fillers” in your life! Take a moment to thank them, it might bless and encourage them!
If you haven't stood in the gap for anyone lately, I encourage you to do so, just don't take matters into your own hands!
Luke 6:38 - Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye meet withal it shall be measured to you again.
Acts 20:35 - I have showed you all things, how that so laboring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.
If you are needing someone to help fill the gap, remember...
Philippians 4:19 - But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
Ask what you will and the Father will send what you need!
Sometimes filling the smallest gap can mean the world to someone! It's a form of showing them love!
"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." John 13: 34, 35
Thanks be to God for His Marvelous Provisions,
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