Taking a Walk Down Memory Lane

Are you one of those people who can only read a book once and can’t stand to re-read something? I’m not one of those people. I can give a good book multiple readings and I might re-read a thought provoking blog post several times. I’m one of those who need to hear the same truths repeated frequently. I like revisiting old “faith markers” and remembering the work God did there. It encourages me to press beyond that initial work. Or sometimes the marker brings a gentle rebuke to get back on the right trail.

This week, I’m spending time in another state with some of my dearest friends, seeking God. I’m asking Him to speak to me, to open my eyes to anything I need to repent of, to challenge me in ways that will bring me closer to Him, to give me a greater love for Him and others. I won’t be spending much time (if any) online this week, but I promise, if you leave a comment, I will eventually answer you. (I read every comment that is posted here.)

While I’m on my spiritual retreat, I’m leaving you with a few posts from the archives that I think we should revisit occasionally. I hope you don’t mind re-reading these (or perhaps you’ve just joined us here in this little blog community and haven’t yet read these), I pray they’ll be helpful to you.

Today, I want to begin this walk down memory lane by asking you:

Where are you?

Are you in a difficult place right now?

Has God been challenging you to go beyond the natural? To move a bit outside your comfort zone? Maybe He’s Inviting you to get in the gap with Him. The gap is that place of communion with God when He gives you an assignment that is beyond your ability which requires you to press into Him for the grace to obey.

There’s no better place to be. The gap can be painful, but it’s a pain that brings sweet fruit. It’s a place of uncommon communion.

An invitation to uncommon communion . . . what a privilege, yes?

I’ve had quite a few of those invitations, and today I’ll share one of the most surprising:

I wasn’t expecting the invitation to write a book. God’s timing often seems out-of-sync in the present, but when the event is in my rear-view mirror, I can see His perfect wisdom in ordering life the way He has.

I was already stretched beyond where I’d ever walked. My father was in his final days of battling lymphoma. It had been a long season, and I was spent physically and emotionally. I was desperately living in moment-by-moment dependence on God. And yet, I knew the request was more than an invitation—I knew it was an assignment—an assignment from God. The question was, would I accept His assignment?

Would I trust Him and tap His heart for the needed resources in order to do what He’d called me to do?

I did say yes to Him, and I want to share a few things I’ve been learning while in the gap with God:

  1. The gap is the place to cry. Crying can be a really good thing if it’s crying out for help—not crying in self-pity and despair. God delights in responding to our cries for Him to show up in ways only He can.
  2. Obedience brings peace. When I finally released and committed, I was filled with the settling peace that only He can give. Not that the assignment hasn’t been challenging—far from it—but His peace has been tangible in the gap.
  3. Pressing into Him for needed resources has provided the grace needed for the assignment. All along the way He’s provided: input from friends who have writing expertise, people to encourage and supply wisdom, friends who faithfully intercede in prayer and a great team at Moody Publishers who are shepherding me through the process.
  4. The gap is where I want to stay! As I’ve surrendered to this assignment, pressed beyond the terror, fought the inner doubts with truth from His Word, and applied myself to diligent work . . . God has brought me to a place of deep joy.

I’d like to hear about God’s assignment for you. Are you in the gap with God or are you running from His assignment?

One Comment

  • Vivian Etherington

    I feel as if I live there….God’s assignment to me of six children, homeschooling them…..I have definitely been in over my head for a long time and I realize daily my need for Him to do this! Just a side note, you know I don’t look at my kids as an assignment; They are a gift! I think you know that about me already. Another opportunity God is giving me, for which I need His grace and power is teaching in women’s Bible study….so much dependence on the Holy Spirit for my lessons! I love being in that place! Neither of these are such uncommon places, but they do cause me to press in and desire uncommon communion with the Lord!