Give me a cause or a person that can’t stand up for themselves, and I am usually all in. What about you? Do you get a thrill out of fighting for injustices or people that just need a little extra help getting what they deserve or need? I do. But what about when it hurts? Will you stand in the gap for another when the pain is so intense it hurts to breathe?
What about when the accolades are not there? When a “thank-you” is nowhere to be heard – will your stance waiver?
Society, after all, says to get rid of all the people that hurt you and treat you unfairly. Society says it is okay to give a blind eye to these people, and you should rid your life of all of them.
I shudder to think where my family would be today had we decided not to stand in the gap for a loved one.
I remember a time when I could barely catch my next breath; my hands shook with fear, and my voice quivered as I stood up to speak, beg, fight and grovel for what my loved one with a mental illness needed. I argued against professionals that said, she would not get better and that the best possible choice for everyone was “an institution for life.” I remember well-meaning people trying to convince me that I had done enough and I would be throwing my life away to continue on this path.
I refused to listen to the chorus of voices and instead –
I quietly listened to the whispers of God.
He whispered in my ear,
“Stand in the gap for a little while; this person needs you. I will show you the way one step at a time just as I have in the past. I will equip you.”
So I stood in the gap between what was and what could be. I showed up even when I was not wanted nor spoken to with kindness. I fought for proper care, education, and for doctors to please not give up – that there was hope.
When things got rough, I could hear God whisper, “Brush it off; it is mental illness speaking not the one you love.” When doctors refused to give her the care she needed I was relentless to make sure she received it.
When I became weary, God would remind me that Christ endured much more that Jesus stood in the gap for each and every one of us.
I would often say if Jesus could bear the cross for me; certainly, I can do this with God’s help.
Of course standing in the gap is not an easy task. It can be challenging, painful, and scary at times. We are not called to stand in the gap for everyone. I encourage you to listen for God’s whisper and recognize that when he asks you to stand in the gap, it is an enormous privilege not to be taken lightly.
So one might ask, “Why would you stand in the gap when it is painful?” My short answers would be:
- Because God asked me to and he will equip.
- Jesus stood in the gap for me.
- Love conquers much.
- Qualities will arise that you never knew existed.
I am so glad that I never gave in and never gave up. I am so happy I listened to God and gave deaf ears to those that said, “Give up.” I am thrilled that I proved society wrong and that it is worth the pain to stand in the gap for another.
I challenge you this year to take on a new theme.
Stand in the gap for others that need it.
Do not make it contingent upon how they treat you, but instead, listen for God’s sweet voice and if he says; Stand in the Gap – JUST DO IT.
Of course, observe your personal boundaries and learn skills to do it in a healthy way. But do not pass up an opportunity just because at this point in their life they can’t give back or make you happy.
As you stand in the gap be sure to keep listening to God’s voice because one day you might hear him whispering in your ear, “Move over you don’t have to stand so strong in the gap – they are now ready to fill their own gap.”
And you might be taken by surprise when the unexpected happens, and that very same person ends up standing in the gap for you.
Will you stand in the gap for another in 2017 or listen to society and rid yourself of the pain? How have you stood in the gap for someone else?