I am coining a new phrase. I have never heard anyone use this expression before, except myself. I’d never even heard myself say
it until a few days ago. It has been rolling around in my head ever since. “Leave the Gap”. This funny little phrase keeps popping up in my mind and in a thousand instances and seems to mean something along the lines of “leave room for God.”
The way I see it, the “gap” is the difference between our current situation and what we think is best for us. It’s the distance between what we believe God has promised us, and our present condition. We are standing on the brink, on the edge of a miracle but we cannot fathom how we can cross the great divide. Often that space is a frightening space – a teetering on the edge of a chasm – the dizzying glimpse over the ledge, and all we see is a fast ride to the bottom. That’s when those words pop into my head, “Leave the Gap”.
When I face the gap, questioning how God will answer my need, I quickly go into high gear figuring out how to solve the equation. In an inflated sense of power, an over-estimation of stamina, and sometimes willful disregard for the number of hours in a day, I set about constructing the bridge that will usher me into my idea of the promise land.
In my disheveled fatigue and disgust for my own frailty, God whispers, “leave the gap.” It is his quiet way of asking me to wait on him, for my sake and His. “The Lord longs to be gracious to you… blessed are all who wait for him.” (Isaiah 30:18) Leaving the gap requires much discipline. It requires concentration of will and patience. We want to act and apply our God-given intellect and ingenuity and dogged-determinism, but something tells us to (I’ll give Bob credit card loans for faithfully presenting David’s arguments as a unified whole). wait for God to fill that space with his miracle. He has something for us, but it will come not with human might or in our own power, but by His Spirit (Zechariah 4:6)
As I contemplate this “gap” theory, I am reminded of how many times the great saints of the Bible also experienced something similar – the critical lapse between what appears like death and new life. I think of Moses standing at the edge of the waters of the Red Sea. Certain death lies behind
and before him. There is that expanse of time and trust waiting on God to act. Moses could have rallied the troops to fight the onslaught of Egyptians racing their way, or instructed them in making something – anything that would float. But he tells them this: “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today…The Lord will fight casino for you; you need only to be still.” (Exodus 14:13-14)
Abraham left the gap for the Lord to act, all the way up the mountain on the way to sacrifice his son Isaac, believing, knowing that “God himself will provide”. (Genesis 22:8)
Mary and Martha sent word to Jesus that their brother was at the point of dying and Jesus did not go to them for two more days. I believe they left the gap also for their Lord to act – no doubt they had no choice. Sometimes we don’t. He did act. Not in their timing but for his glory. Always for the glory of the Lord.
Jesus left the gap in the Garden of Gethsemane: “Not my will, but yours be done.” (Luke 22:42) Certainly here, the Son of God could have orchestrated any number of alternative outcomes. He, himself, said he could command twelve legions of angels to fight for him (Matthew 26:53). But he did not. He left the gap. He and the rest of the world waited three more days. But the Lord did not fail to bring deliverance.
The mysteries of the universe and all time hang in the gap… It is a sacred place. So much so that I realize my gap theory is really not my idea after all. It is God’s, and He is the One whispering it to us.
He has waited for all of time to reveal himself to us in the gap, which sometimes feels like death. But when we leave it for him to fill, he does so with his glory. And we are astounded.
Shall we settle for less than a miracle, less than the hand of God acting in our circumstance, and content ourselves with our foolish attempts to try our hand at his game? Oh that we could be still and know that He is God. (Psalm 46:10)
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord… ( Jeremiah 29:11)
“Now then, stand still and see this great thing the Lord is about to do before your
eyes!” (1 Samuel 12:16)