Still Minding The Gap

January 17, 2018
by Rod Marshall

Ezekiel 22:29-30 – The people of the land practice extortion and commit robbery; they oppress the poor and needy and mistreat the alien, denying them justice. 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. (NIV)

When I was a boy aged eleven to sixteen, at the beginning and end of each term for the five years that I was away at school, I used to have to cross over London from Morden to Kings Cross on the Northern Line, changing tube trains and scurrying across an antiquated system. It was a traumatic experience for a solitary boy, for if I made a mistake, there were big consequences. At Kings Cross, I met up with other boys, who, like me, were taking the train up to Wakefield, Yorkshire. It was a long day.

As the train arrived at each station, a clear voice would announce the station name and the train's destination. As the doors opened, "Please mind the gap" would ring out as a warning to all over the loudspeakers. I can still hear the announcement in my head fifty years later. Sometimes, there was the distance of a good foot between the floor of the carriage and the platform. I had to make a deliberate action to focus and step over the danger area. This was easy for an adult who has a larger stride than a boy, but for me, it was always an anxious moment that echoes down the decades and stays with me even now.

These days, I am reminded of God's concern for us to mind the gap, in our own lives and in the world.

In our time, more than ever, I believe that our world needs intercessors to stand in the gap for the right and the good, because fewer of us are able to remember a time of God's restraint or to recognize His blessings. So, for us still standing, we need to pray God's provision, restraint, and healing into the chasm between God's harmonious kingdom of lovingkindness shown in Jesus, and increasing worldly wickedness. Jesus has called us to be intercessors, to pray in His rule over the kings, princes, and leaders of governing powers and celebrity, who preside over wars and the abuse of our planet's ecosystems and climates.

By what means can we stand in the gap if we have not first received God's kingdom ourselves? Or have we just given up trusting in a God who is prepared to reach into us, to turn our lives upside down, and to bridge the gap from death to life, via the grace found in Jesus' death and resurrection, and the subsequent empowerment of the Holy Spirit?

The danger is real and the consequences are vast for us and world if we give up.

I believe that Jesus is looking for His church to shine and call out to the world in danger: "Mind the gap! Let me give you a hand up."

He will bring His light where there has been only darkness, and His peace where there has been chaos and war.

Prayer: Lord, where there is tiredness, doubt, and despair, please shed Your light. Come and bridge the gap in our lives between our doubt and Your belief in us. By the power of Your Holy Spirit, change us to bring peace, love, and hope. Grant us the courage and boldness to speak out when it is right, in Jesus' name. Amen.

About the author:

Rod Marshall <roderickmarshall@yahoo.com>
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    May it be so, Rod.


    I lost a shoe twice in that gap!


    Wow thanks for a very powerful and inspiring message! Blessings to you and yours.


    Good one Rod, Thank You.
    May your year ahead be a good one.


    Thank you for this message. It brought back pleasant memories of holidays as well as giving me food for thought. Good job.


    Good word Rod. I still remember the gap on the Toronto subway, though l don’t think it was as large. I would always grab my mother’s hand for fear of falling in.
    Blessings.


    Thank you, Rod, for sharing this devotional example of God’s protection as He stands in the gap helping us across. My mind remembers getting on and off trains as a child and the helpful men who gave us a hand across the gap between the coach and the platform. Thanks for writing and jogging my memory. Blessings.


    Good morning, Rod,
    This is a devotional that I have already read several times. I agree that the dangers are real and the consequences vast if we give up.
    Thank you.


    Good morning. Once again, a well written and wise devotion! Yes, we need to be cautious of the dangers of the gap – especially the one between the upper and lower jaws! Usually, the ones who have the least to say, do the most talking!
    Blessings.


    Dear Rod
    Wonderfully spoken. We were just discussing this this morning at our women’s group. We totally agree and need to do the very best we can to honour our commitment to God, and our fellow men and women in this world.
    May God continue to work through you to help us all.


    You almost make my heart break for children with adult responsibilities. I love the story and the application! Now to remember and take time – for the world, our government officials, our own cities, and families and churches! Are well as our own requests/ needs. Prayer is so important – essential. Why do we drag our feet? May the Lord awaken in each of His people, a huge desire and commitment to spend time with Him for everyone’s sake! Thank you for your story and your wise exhortation to ‘mind the gap!’


    Good morning Rod,
    Your header brought back happy memories for me!
    My husband and I were married in Northern Ireland, had a short honeymoon in London, and then came on as immigrants to Canada, where we still live.
    It was our first introduction to the London Underground, and ‘mind the gap’ became a watchword while we were there.
    It applies to many situations, and is good advice.
    Thank you.


    Beautiful message to start my day.
    Amen to every part. Thank you Rod.
    I am so thankful for the blessings of The Lord each and every day.
    You brought back memories of my younger days too. The London underground (always a myriad of confusion and crowds). Memories too of Yorkshire. I spent many happy times by the coast, and on the magnificent moors.
    Blessings to you and yours,
    (ON)


    Thank you for the devotional challenge that you share. I am an 85 year old that has faced a few challenges as well, and since my high school days, Psalm 27 has been one of my favorites which I have repeated many times…”The Lord is my light and my salvation of whom shall I be afraid” at the beginning of the Psalm, and then the last two verses….”I would have fainted if I had not believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord and he will strengthen your heart, wait I say on the Lord.” This is probably a combination of the KJ and the NKJ translation. In the last two years I have been helped by reading through the Bible and following the discipline of Billy Graham –1 Proverb and 5 Psalms every day. The Word of God is powerful for the heart and mind!!


    Amen!


    Dear Rod Marshall,
    This is a message for me to keep to return to, and pray as I read again.
    Thank you.
    I pray that God will continue to inspire you to write such necessary messages.

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