“I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found none.” Ezekiel 22:30
When you examine your life, what types of cracks do you find? I think we all have them. Sometimes it is a gap between what we say and what we do. For others, it might be a crack in their confidence or their ability to see themself as God sees them. For many, there are cracks in relationships — in our relationship with God, with family, with co-workers, with church family, or with unreached people.
I’ve spent a good part of several beautiful fall days filling and sealing cracks in the basketball court at camp. As I did, God reminded me of His call for someone to “stand in the gap”. As I worked on the asphalt, I had plenty of time to think about what it takes to be one who fills the cracks in the lives of people. I believe God taught me some useful lessons those few days. Lessons for me to practice and to write down so that I don’t forget and so perhaps others may benefit from those lessons as well.
Being one who will stand in the gap requires that we first recognize that cracks exist and that because of their destructive nature they need repaired! While this may sound very simple, many times this is the hardest step of all. Too often the cracks don’t appear serious enough to demand our time and energy taking care of them. We either don’t notice them or we don’t believe they can really bring about that much damage. Recognizing the gap means that we see a difference between what is and what should be. To do this effectively we must have a firm grasp on what God says our life ought to be.
I’ve noticed that the cracks in the ball court asphalt never get smaller. If not taken care of, even the tiniest of cracks become larger and more of a problem as time passes. The same is true in our life. Left unfilled the gaps that exist in our pursuit of God, in our relationships, in our faithfulness, and in any other area soon become larger and more destructive to ourself and to those around us. It is also important to note that the sooner the crack is dealt with, the less work there is involved in restoring it to useable condition. But if left uncared for, unfilled, the cracks in the court, and in our life, become larger and larger until the task of restoration is very difficult. You and I have the opportunity to help others, and each other, recognize and repair the gaps that exist in people.
In the days of Ezekiel, God says He looked for someone who would stand in the gap and He found no one — what a sad commentary. I pray that you and I will be ones who will stand in the gap. As we notice the cracks in our own life and in the lives of others, let us be the intercessor who goes to God in prayer seeking the filling and repair that is needed and that only He can provide.