Stand in the Gap

Stand in the Gap

Squeal with delight

“Is your mom ok?” My friend across the table alerted me to my mom’s condition. Sitting beside her, I looked and immediately caught her as she began to fall. Holding her up, my friend on the other side and I talked to her frantically to keep her conscious as we waited for an ambulance to arrive.

A woman from across the restaurant saw our distress and walked quietly over. “May I pray for her?” We welcomed her whispered interruption. She prayed and we prayed along.

Her exact words escape me, however, I won’t forget her calming presence. My mom slowly became more alert. Thank God. She doesn’t remember much from the experience, just the awareness of the EMT and us talking to her toward the end.

We didn’t know it at the time, but my mom’s blood pressure had dropped dangerously low due to an issue with her medicine. I thank the Lord for His protection and for sending a believer who demonstrated compassion and a willingness to stand in the gap while we waited.

Courage to step out

Today’s world often demonstrates the opposite of this compassion and sensitivity. Many would look on but not take the step to help. This visitor stepped out with courage — away from her own dining experience and priorities that day— to pray over a stranger.

Our encounter reminds me of the parable of the good Samaritan in Luke 10:25-37.

The Samaritan came upon a traveler left half dead on the road to Jericho. He lifted his battered and bruised body, bandaged his wounds, carried him to an inn and took care of his needs. Other people’s opinions mattered not. He answered the call to lend a hand and do what needed to be done.

Our fellow diner could not help us physically, but she gave what she could. She lifted my mom to the Father, her words comforting our souls.

I don’t know her — I’m sure I thanked her — but I hope she knows how much we appreciate her demonstration of love and care.

Is God calling you to stand in the gap for someone? Do you know somebody who needs comfort? A bandage? An encouraging word? Or a financial gift to help them get by?

Answer the call. Who knows what God will do through you?

“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.” (Matthew 25:35-36 NIV).


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Ordinary People

Ordinary People

As King David stays hidden from his son Absalom, two men risk their lives to report to David Absalom’s plan to take over the kingdom. (2 Samuel 17:17-21)

Because they had been seen leaving the city, a man in Bahurim allowed these messengers to hide in his well. His wife placed a blanket and grain over it to stow them away from their pursuers. She then sent Absalom’s men in a different direction.

Available and willing

We don’t know much about this couple other than these few scriptures. They were likely just two ordinary people God used for a moment in time to protect his anointed. Did they sense that they were part of a bigger picture?

When they got the news David’s messengers needed a hiding place, did they “push through” their fear of possible punishment? I can imagine the wife’s rush to fling the blanket over the well in time. Did her heart race as she pointed the pursuers in the opposite direction?

One thing seems clear. They were available and willing, and God used them to protect His messengers and David.

Abide in the Word

I attended a women’s conference this past weekend — Abide in the Word — hosted by The Vine of NELA. The words amazing, inspiring and encouraging best describe our eight hours together.

The thought occurred to me that while we all came from different areas, different backgrounds and different churches, we were all just ordinary people with our problems, fears, mistakes and our sorrows. But together, as we stood singing and praising the Father, the presence of God filled the room and amazing things happened in our hearts.

We each fulfilled various tasks and responsibilities from listening, lifting a hand, putting an arm around a sister in support, organizing, praying, speaking and singing  . . . and making sure there was plenty of coffee. 

The two from Bahurim played a role in protecting David. What about us? Our lives may seem ordinary in our own eyes, but God can use us — He wants to use us — to accomplish His purpose and His plan.

Let’s be available and willing to answer the call, and to complete the task . . . no matter how large or small, or daunting.

Seek the Lord. Trust His Word. Ask Him to draw you close and teach you to abide.


Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:31-32 (NKJV)

Warrior Women

Warrior Women

As I prepared to move without a house to move to, I told my friend Elizabeth that it had taken an army of warriors praying on my behalf to get me through this season of uncertainty.

And that is what God has done. Some old friends. Some new. Some young. Some old. All have taken the time to lift me up to the Father. I thank God for warrior women who will take a moment out of their day to call, text, pray specifically for my decisions and that God would meet my needs.

And I know He will. I know the promises of the scriptures – God’s words spoken to all humankind who will listen and obey.

In the waiting

Ah, but the waiting, the anxiety and putting it into action is the hardest part.

I read a chapter from Mark Batterson’s book Chase the Lion that spoke to my heart. Are my dreams big enough? Do I have the kind of faith to dream and step out in faith? Or to wait in faith?

Am I strong enough to live and laugh on the gray days – these dark and unsettling days of waiting?  My wilderness.

God sees our hearts

As God encouraged Joshua when He commissioned him to lead the Israelites after Moses died, He is with me — with us. He helps us to be strong and courageous because He is with us.

We don’t walk alone. God already knew His people would rebel and turn away, but He still said he would not abandon them.

As my warrior friend reminded me, God sees our hearts. He still loves us no matter what. That is as true today as it was when Israel stepped across the Jordan into the promised land.

God meets our needs

I learned something new last week about God’s provision. Or at least I’d never thought about it.

God’s manna followed the Israelites into the promised land then stopped the day after they had access to the local food. Six days a week for 40 years, God provided manna for them. It arrived like clockwork, then ended the day it wasn’t needed any longer. Talk about God’s provision.

Do you need God’s provision today? Or do you need a warrior to pray on your behalf?

God is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. He is the breath of life. He is our timeless redeemer. He is forever faithful. He is the prince of peace, the Lamb of God, the Lion of Judah. He is Jesus Christ our Lord.

And He is completely capable of providing for our needs.

A Bold  Move

A Bold Move

J. R. R. Tolkien once said, “courage is found in unlikely places.”

That’s what we find in the story of Esther. Hers was not a “commander of an army” type courage. Nor one accompanied by physical strength and stamina.

Her courage was a quiet, “I’ll risk my life for my people” type of courage.

Esther had been queen for about three years before she had the test of a lifetime. Haman, second in command of Susa, had devised an evil plan to destroy all Jews throughout the kingdom and convinced King Xerxes to sign it into law.

Esther’s cousin, Mordecai, challenged her to step in and use her position to change this course of action. A task not easily done.

There was no knocking on his door to ask a question. She had to be invited. And thirty days had passed since Esther had been summoned by the king. Approaching him without an invitation was against the law. However, she risked her life for her people. Her response to Mordecai must have been a chilling one.

When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish. Esther 4:16.

How do we prepare for courage?

I believe several things contributed to her courage, and ultimate victory, to make such a bold move.

Even before this time, God had prepared Esther for that critical moment.

  • She was adopted by Mordecai who treated her like his own daughter. He taught her that God was always in control.
  • She was one of the virgins chosen as a potential queen, winning the favor of Hegai, the king’s eunuch and overseer of the king’s harem. He even moved Esther and her maids to the best place in the harem.
  • Esther won the favor of everyone who saw her.
  • She won the king’s favor and approval more than any of the other virgins.
  • She had an accountability partner. Mordecai challenged her to do the right thing.
  • Esther reported an assassination plot to take out the king.
  • Before she acted, she called on people to fast and pray, putting her faith in God first.

After being seized from her cousin to become the possession of a cruel king, Esther could have become bitter. Instead, she demonstrated courage, patience and wisdom. She did this not only in her gracious appeal to the king, but through offering a solution that gave the Jews the chance to survive.

And that is the way with us, too. Sometimes our trials springboard us to a place of courage and boldness. God also prepares us for our “moment” through a consistent, everyday walk with Him. Obedience in the “little things” could be just what gets us through that next obstacle.

What do we do with the sting of pain?

Life is hard. Difficult times happen. Pain will come. When it does, do we turn TO God or FROM Him?

You may be thinking, “I do not have the courage of Esther.” But consider this. Esther took one step at a time, allowing her trials to shape her into a courageous young woman.

She didn’t settle for less than God’s plan for her. She strove for the best, whether she suffered for it or not.

And we can too. We CAN find the courage when courage seems in short supply. We CAN pray boldly and act boldly. We CAN live in victory.

Do you have a decision to make? A plan to implement. How has God prepared you to be bold? Draw upon those experiences that have made you into who you are today and take courage in your moment of decision.

“But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.” 2 Chronicles 15:7