STAND IN THE GAP - The Warrior's Journey®
Courage

STAND IN THE GAP

Author: Brendon O'Dowd, USAF (Ret.)

101022-F-4127S-682. Photo by US Air Force is licensed under CC By 2.0

Forward Operating Base (FOB) Shank was one of our strategic outposts in Afghanistan. It provided security and defense against Taliban fighters whose reign of terror came to an end, because the warriors there were willing to “stand in the gap.”

Courage to Stand

Air Force Capt. Jon Polston, lead engineer attached to Laghman Provincial Reconstruction Team, leans over a ledge to inspect the underside of a bridge in Mehtar Lam, Laghman province, Sept. 7. The civil engineer team from the PRT traveled to the Jugi bridge in Mehtar Lam to asses the structural integrity following its recent completion, ensuring it will withstand the Afghan weather for years to come.

Our FOBs are a key component to mission success because they fill in the “gaps.” Warriors who serve on the front lines there are willing to give their lives to defend more than land and property. They are defending a way of life.

But according to a recent Stars and Stripes article, Shank is now called “Zombieland.” The Afghan military is having trouble finding warriors who can stand in the gap with that same vision. They can no longer maintain this once powerful base and it has lost its ability to protect a vulnerable people. Long ago the nation of Israel suffered from the same problem.

Around 600 B.C., Israel’s capital had been decimated. The defensive walls were destroyed, and Jerusalem had become a “Zombieland.” God called Ezekiel as a prophet to encourage and motivate warriors to stand in the gap of the broken walls.  But there was a problem. God summed it up this way: “and I sought for a man among them who should build up the wall and stand in the breach [gap] before me for the land, that I should not destroy it, but I found none” (Ezekiel 22:30).

No one was willing to give their life to defend their nation. From a warrior’s perspective, it was inexcusable.

A Living Bridge

Air Force Tech. Sgt. Angela Pollard, medic attached to Laghman Provincial Reconstruction Team, secures a bridge in Mehtar Lam, Laghman province, Sept. 7. A civil engineer team from the PRT traveled to the Jugi bridge in Mehtar Lam to asses the structural integrity following its recent completion, ensuring it will withstand the Afghan weather for years to come.

But there’s a bigger problem than broken walls. There’s a “gap” created by our sin. When we go against God’s commands, we abandon our post. When we ignore God’s directives, we separate ourselves from the only source of life.  That leaves us vulnerable to God’s judgment. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil” (2 Corinthians 5:10).

We are defenseless against God’s powerful judgment. The good news is Christ came to “stand in the gap” for us.  He forgives us and gives us life, and we can be sure He will never abandon His post (Hebrews 13:5).

If you have not trusted Christ to stand in the gap as your Savior, do so today. If you have trusted Him, then tell others about what He has done.


Photos:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/usairforce/6124744998/ (By US Air Force, Licensed under US Govt Work)
https://www.flickr.com/photos/usairforce/6124205395/ (By US Air Force, Licensed under US Govt Work)


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