I have lived somewhat of a nomad existence recently between Gate City and Buena Vista, Virginia on my current journey with Jesus experiencing a lot of God's pruning along the way. He has restored my desire to write and this is my first attempt in nearly a year. It is my prayer that what is read will prompt the reader to desire to know Jesus Christ more richly.
Over the holidays between Thanksgiving and the New Year, my 6 year-old twin daughter and son and my three-year old son and I went on several hikes in Haynes Valley, Virginia on the outskirts of Gate City, Virginia. Our favorite side trek was through an old pasture field leading to a neat, bridged creek. To enter, the four of us would have to pass by the pictured gate which reminded the passerby to close the gate. The irony of course is the fact that the gate is broken.
If one takes a serious moment, it does not take long to find "gates" in our life that we have either closed ourselves or have had closed upon ourselves. Many of these self-imposed or imposed barricades possess flaws. One of which is the "gate" of unforgiveness. The Lord is direct about this and it does not take too long of a look to find His heart on the matter. Below is but one glance of His heart concerning forgiveness.
"Therefore, God’s chosen ones, holy and loved, put on heartfelt compassion, kindness,humility, gentleness, and patience, accepting one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must also forgive. Above all, put on love—the perfect bond of unity." Colossians 3:12-14 (HCSB)
Unfortunately, tonight I just learned of yet another friend who passed away at a young age to be with the Lord. Moments like these really sober one to the realities of what should be one's main focus in this life. Life is too short for an unforgiving heart.
So what should those of us who are journeying with Christ be about in this life? The broken gate shows us another truth. The gate is broken. So too we should seek to be broken of this world's cares and grudges and be filled with His Spirit. John Bunyan has a great piece on this concept of a broken and contrite heart in his work The Acceptable Sacrifice which you can read at http://truthinheart.com/EarlyOberlinCD/CD/Bunyan/text/Acceptable.Sacrifice/Entire.Book.html
"Mankind, He has told you what is good and what it is the Lord requires of you: to act justly, to love faithfulness, and to walk humbly with your God." Micah 6:8 (HCSB)
What gates need to be broken in your life and left open? Does your life need simple obedience to Christ that will give you the peace you do not have? Who have you not forgiven? Why must you fight so hard against being broken for His purposes? What do you choose to do with the time He affords you? Who do you need to love while they are yet still in the land of the living?