IT’S A cramped place, tight and dark. Bound and limited, you feel like you want to scream.

Other times you’re fully exposed, out in an open field without shelter. Bombs explode around you, bullets whiz by your head. You fall flat on your belly to escape the crossfire.

It’s a chaotic war zone where bodies and blades flail all around you. It’s not even clear who or where the enemy is.

Or maybe it’s a long, hard march that never seems to end, and you’re weary from it all.

This is the breach. It’s a place of high intensity spiritual, emotional, and psychological conflict.

You wonder how things got this far. Everything seems like a mess. You just want to run and hide. You never asked for this. Your own mistakes confront you. It’s messy, imperfect, even bloody sometimes.

This is the gap you must fill as someone depends upon you. If you move, the gap will become an opening, and the opening a river, and the river a flood.

Your time in the breach might be brief. Or it may last a lifetime.

I think of those who care for a sick loved one — those who worry about addicted sons, daughters, and spouses — those who know the one they care for is hurting and heading down an abyss. Or maybe you’re standing up for someone who’s all alone in this world.

And the intensity may vary, but the pressure never leaves. How do you keep going? How do you remain faithful and firm? How do you resist the temptation to give up?

Some may be stronger than others. Some have more natural resistance. But the rest of us? In your own weakness, how do you remain in the breach as the pressure mounts?  

For those who have been broken and restored, you know there is only one way you can survive in the breach.

You know who filled the gap for you — who carried the cross when you could not do it alone.

You know who’s Spirit returned strength upon strength to you even when hope seemed lost — even when everyone else said, stop trying, stop striving, it’s no use anymore.

His Spirit told you otherwise. His Spirit said, stay.

So you continue to trust, to be good, to be generous, maybe even to a fault. What other choice do you have?

You stay firm and faithful. You hang on with all your might. You cling tight to your Lord. And he sustains you. Against all odds, he gives you hope and courage.

You dodge the bullets, you take the blows. All those weary nights, the long drives, the disappointment, the sense of failure, the broken promises, the lies and betrayal — none of it is enough to make you let go, since he remains with you always.

Even your own foolish mistakes are not enough to stop his loving grace, his everlasting goodness.

So the Spirit of Christ pours out over you. You fling open the archives of your faith to see all the blessings, all the miracles, all the times he filled in the gaps for you when you fell short… all the marvels you’ve seen where the hand of God worked in your life.

And so, you stay.

You take the posture of the servant, the warrior, the king — on your knees before the Father.

Here I am, O Lord. I don’t know how I keep going, but here I am.

Help me shoulder my responsibilities, my cross.

I hold on tight to my Lord. And close to him I am safe.

Close to him I have faith.

Close to him I live and give life, as it has been given unto me.  

Close to him I will see the glory of God.

. . . . . . .

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me; and I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” 

John 10:27-30

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