Friday, July 29, 2016

Gap Standers, Discouragement, Disillusionment and Despair

“For we don’t want you to be unaware, brothers, of our affliction that took place in Asia: we were completely overwhelmed — beyond our strength — so that we even despaired of life.”
— 2 Corinthians 1:8 (HCSB)
In the antiquity of Ezekiel 22:30 it seems you’re called to stand in the gap; to bring to a person, or a people, perhaps a family or a church, and certainly a situation, to a definitive hope.
You’re an advocate.  Prepared, as called of God, to do what only you’re positioned to do.  You’re prepared, as called, to do what you feel led by God’s Spirit to do.  And it’s going to cost you.  And you know it.  It’s just you don’t know how or when or, frustratingly, why.
Advocates are always caught on the blindside.  The enemy waits until we’re least ready, yet already equipped for discouragement, ripe for disillusionment, primed for despair.
You’ve experienced the victory, and you’ve been softened by the feel-good sense of cushy pride; what you accomplished.  It was a massive conquest.  It took so much ingenuity and innovation, guts, temerity, and resources that could only be supernaturally sponsored.  God showed up!  But then, when you’ve been alone yet a little while, BAM!
Struck by a circumstance that I’m sure is orchestrated by God, we’re plunged into an abyss of desolating anguish — even despairing of life itself.  (Isn’t it heartening that even the apostle Paul was goaded many times to give up.)
It will happen.  It has happened, and it will happen again.  It’s the common destiny for those who stand in the gap.  And it’s for this reason: we need it, for we would become conceited otherwise; made a god by our own resources, blasphemously, for it’s always done in the name of the Lord.
When the winds of discouragement, disillusionment, and despair blow hauntingly through seasons of our lives we’re backwashed by how alone we feel.  We do feel betrayed of the faithfulness of the Lord.  It seems to have failed.  But God never fails.
God is in those winds that whistle with eerie silence that only we can hear.  He is there, even if it feels He’s not.  God has brought to us these winds for a reason.  We’ve been an advocate, and we’ve succeeded at that.  But that’s not all there is.  God wants more for us than that.  God wants us to know we need Him, because we do.  It’s for this reason: on a place like earth, and in living this life, we will face injustice because we’re made in God’s image, because to be made in the image of God is to think and anticipate and expect to be a god.
Yet, though we’re made in God’s image, we’ll never have claim-at-truth on being a god.  So, it is good for us that injustice occurs to us.  It reminds us we’re not God.
Now, stand in the gap, in the knowledge you’ll be struck down, and take it the best you can, knowing you’re allowed to lament through your recovery, and be patient; God’s taking you to a higher order of spiritual consciousness.
© 2016 Steve Wickham.

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