Thursday, April 30, 2009

In the Gap

I mentioned in a previous post that I went on a women's retreat with my church this past weekend. Our speaker on Saturday was Paula Rinehart--look her up on Amazon; she is an amazing writer. I have been pondering her words.

She proposed that we all live with various "gaps"--gaps between our ideal and our real. Maybe it is a gap in your job--between what you hoped you would always be doing and where you find yourself every day. Maybe it is a gap in your marriage--when those desires for intimacy seem foreign and misplaced. Maybe it is a gap in some other relationship--a relationship that begs your patience and tries your spirit. And a simplistic one I discovered yesterday--a gap between how I ideally would like my home to look and the reality of living with three kids under age 5. Preach it!

So we all live with gaps in our days. Rinehart challenged that it is what we do in those gaps that really has the potential of leading us in victory or setting us up for defeat. This morning I was reading Acts 16. Paul and Silas find themselves in a rather large gap--they were imprisoned for preaching Jesus. "But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them." (Acts 16:25) In the midst of their gap they reached for their heavenly Daddy--they sought Him through prayer and praised Him with song. And others were watching. That is the challenge to us.

This life will not be perfect. People will disappoint, sickness will come, jobs will be lost, and hurts will linger--are you encouraged yet? Sorry. But God does protect His children. We can trust that He will only allow those circumstances to enter our lives which have the potential of strengthening our faith and bringing Him glory. Unfortunately no one is promised a trouble-free life--we all will have gaps. But our victory will come as we lift our eyes to the One who gives life, even in the midst of the prison. In fact, I am beginning to understand that it is our response in the gaps that has the greatest power to deepen our faith and trust in this holy God.

He is worth it. He is good. He enables us to overcome. Trust His heart.

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