What is a Gauntlet?
A gauntlet is an intimidating, frightening, and sometimes dangerous set of tests that must be endured or gone through in order to reach a desired place or an end goal.
Remember in the movie, “First Knight,” how Lancelot willingly volunteered to run the gauntlet? There were blades, spikes, swords, bludgeons, paddles, and heavy balls whirling about him at different speeds, and from different directions.
He had to have excellent timing to avoid the sharp blades and dexterity to slip between the huge obstacles. Those watching were holding their breath because the odds were not good that he would make it to the end unharmed. But he did. 🙂
Perhaps you are in a gauntlet of sorts right now. Life is full of challenging storms, warped pavement, intimidating obstacles, repetitious hurdles, and bends in the road through which God is trying to move us toward a closer relationship of trust with Him.
David and I have our own gauntlet that we are running. We are headed back to the mission field this evening. Our plane leaves Atlanta around 10 pm and we arrive in Amanzimtoti, South Africa, on Thursday morning, Lord willing. These past few months we have been so busy preparing and packing … and today we go.
As we head out on this third missionary journey, I have been eager to embrace staying th(i)nkful right in the process.
Yes, there are times when I have cried so hard because we will be further away from our kids and grandchildren. And the upcoming test of learning Zulu is daunting to me. But putting feet to the th(i)nkful idea has brought such joy and peace.
There’s something that I do when I go through hard times that the Lord has encouraged me with. I seek for a Bible verse to be an anchor for my soul that I can memorize and feed on. Often I am able to come up with a little tune for the verse, and I sing it as I hurry about to accomplish the tasks and challenges before me. That little tune runs with me and inspires me to keep my thoughts where they ought to be…on Him.
Psalm 73:28 is my Zululand anchor.
“But it is good for me to draw near to God, I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all your works.”
Last evening, we had a final visit with our precious son and his family. After enjoying pizza together we went up to the children’s bedroom and sat around singing songs and praying together. We sang my little Psalm 73:28 chorus with Nicolas easily picking up the guitar chords. What an indelible memory and gift that was for me as we leave. I am so incredibly blessed!
My th(i)nkful list:
- God never leaves me nor forsakes me; He is equally present on the other side of the earth
- This life is a vapor; heaven is not now, but it’s coming (gauntlets don’t last forever)
- My husband loves to serve the Lord and is eager to push himself out of his comfort zone to learn a new language and serve new people
- We have an incredible prayer support team. They are “holding the ropes” for us
- Going through this packing process has simplified my life; it feels so good to not have so much stuff
- Josh and Celeste and their children Face-timed us this morning to say goodbye and tell us that they are praying for us
- My Dad is so proud of us and promises to pray often
- Dan and Deb Willoughby are receiving us into their own home a few days on the field to let us get our feet
- Justin and Stephanie and precious boys came down the weekend before to just be together
- Pastor Chris, Joe, Greg, Mac, Doug, Dr. Miles, and Steve laid hands on us and prayed over us on Sunday, with an entire congregation surrounding us as they sent us out
- Psalm 73:28
- I am not coughing
- I don’t have a headache
- Jonny and Elly in China are following our journey
- We get to bring our pillows and our soft duvet
- Julia wanted me to teach her hand-quilting last night before I left
- The Indian Ocean is beautiful and magnificent and we will be very close
- We have an incredible hope in Jesus and His work on the cross
“It is only with gratitude that life becomes rich!” –Dietrich Bonhoeffer