As a frequent rail user, I am constantly reminded by automated announcements to ‘Mind the Gap between the train and the platform edge’!
Now, I can understand the reasoning behind such advice as it is too easy, at certain stations, for someone to accidentally slip and end up ‘wedged’ between the train and the platform. This is a ‘gap’ that we need to take seriously, however, listening to the regular announcements got me thinking about other ‘gaps’!
Bible history tells us that there was a ‘gap’ of around 400 years between the book of Malachi and the Gospel of Matthew. We have recently celebrated Pentecost and between Ascension and Pentecost there is a ‘gap’ of 9-10 days which separates the disciple’s shock of seeing the living Jesus disappear in a cloud to His Father in Heaven, and their joy as the promised Holy Spirit is poured out on all who had gathered in Jerusalem. The disciples probably felt bereft as Jesus left them again, but this time it’s different. Now they have hope because Jesus has promised that He won’t leave them alone but will send the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will equip the disciples with the power to be Jesus’ witnesses to the ends of the earth.
We face gaps in our lives too so it’s important that we know how to fill them. We face gaps between despair and hope and hope and fulfilment in many different areas of our lives.
Those ‘in-between times’, such as waiting for those exam results, waiting for the result of that recent interview or waiting for those test results from the hospital, can be stressful times of ‘waiting’ – stressful ‘gaps’ in life. In a culture that expects everything to be done yesterday, waiting doesn’t come easy!!!
I’m reminded of the numerous occasions, particularly in the Psalms that we encouraged to ‘wait patiently for the Lord’ Psalm 27:14. In Psalm 40:1, David opens up the Psalm by reminding us that ‘he waited patiently for the Lord to help him’. Isaiah 40:31 tells us that if we ‘wait on the Lord, then our strength is renewed’….
As Post-Pentecost Christians we face the ‘gap’ between discovering Jesus and seeing Him return to this earth. What do we do in the meantime? Firstly, we remember that we’re not left alone. We have the Holy Spirit to equip and empower us, always. Then we prepare for His return by staying in close proximity to Jesus in order to become more like Him, clothed in Him. Then we work hard to bring others into a relationship with Jesus so they can share in God’s blessings. That could be by being actively involved in ‘mission’ or by praying behind the scenes. Everyone can play their part. Let’s just make sure we don’t sit around twiddling our thumbs during the ‘gaps’!
‘But Lord tis for Thee, for Thy coming we WAIT; the sky not the grave is our goal.
Oh trump of the angel, oh voice of the Lord, blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul’….
Be encouraged, Jesus is coming back!!!