Word From Base Camp: GAP
by John Smithbaker
As Christians, we are “gap” people. We live in a gap between Earth and Heaven. Earth, which is ruled by sin and struggle, serves as our physical dwelling place for now. But, as the writer of Hebrews tells us, it is just our place of residence where we live as foreigners. Having put our faith in Christ, we no longer consider Earth our permanent home.
“For those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a country of their own…they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them.” (Hebrews 11:14-16)
We can look forward to one day being home with God. Meanwhile, God asks us to live faithfully in the gap, with our feet on the ground and our eyes on Heaven.
But God doesn’t want us to just comfortably “hang out” in the gap. As Peter tells us, we are to conduct ourselves in holy fear during our stay on Earth (1 Peter 1:17). God commands us to “stand up” for Him in the gap, even when it is uncomfortable. That means standing up for those whom He loves, including the fatherless. God’s Word tells us that when His people don’t do so, the consequences are severe.
“I searched for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand in the gap before Me for the land, so that I would not destroy it; but I found no one. Thus I have poured out my indignation on them” (Ezekiel 22:30-31a).
I believe God is earnestly searching for people to stand in the gap for the fatherless in America today. Twenty-four million children are growing up without their dads in the home, putting them at dramatically higher risk of substance abuse, criminal activity, promiscuity, and suicide. Without much-needed fatherly guidance, odds are that they will self-destruct and destroy a lot of other lives in the process.
Fatherlessness is one of the most urgent calls on the church today. This is why Fathers in the Field exists—to raise awareness about fatherlessness and to equip men to stand in the gap as God is calling them to do. The work is not easy. But when a man steps up and steps in to fill the gap for an abandoned boy, the fruit of his labor is mind-blowingly abundant. Moreover, the work continues to bear fruit for generations to come.
In this issue of Field Notes, you will meet two men who have taken their stands in the gap—Scott MacNaughton and Troy Duble. I want to personally thank both of these dear brothers for their commitment to the fatherless. When God was searching for someone to stand up for Him, they answered His call. Praise the Lord! I pray that you are as inspired and encouraged by their obedience as I have been.
I also want to wish all of you dads (earthly dads and Mentor Fathers) a Happy Father’s Day! May our Father in Heaven richly bless you for standing up for Him in the lives of children who desperately need to know they have a Father in Heaven who loves them and will never leave or forsake them.
Standing arm and arm in the gap with you,
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