“The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter. ’tis the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.” Mark Twain

The Self-Opening Gate

I was doing my devotions and Bible reading this morning (and it was quiet, unlike most days - but that's totally unrelated to my thoughts) and I came across an amazingly wonderful and wonderfully amazing insight that I had to share with you all. I believe it will help me, at least, in moving forward with this book, and anything else God is leading me to do.

In my July 2 devotional from "Streams in the Desert," (why the date on the online one is January 6 is anyone's guess)I found the author's analogy to a self-opening gate especially apt.

There is a self-opening gate which is sometimes used in country roads. It stands fast and firm across the road as a traveler approaches it. If he stops before he gets to it, it will not open. But if he will drive right at it, his wagon wheels press the springs below the roadway, and the gate swings back to let him through. He must push right on at the closed gate, or it will continue to be closed.

The writer (Henry Clay Turnbull) goes on to explain that our walk with God is just like this. If we find an obstacle in our path, we are not to stop and wait for it to move. We must continue moving forward, and God will move the obstacle for us. Just like the Israelites crossing the Jordan in Joshua 3, we may have to step into the water before the obstacle will go away. Yet, if it is God's will, we will step through on dry ground.

It is much easier, often, to give up, or try to figure out the problem in our own power. Yet, stepping forward in faith, if you are in His will, is clearly the right thing to do. So, in the words of Turnbull:

Is there a great barrier across your path of duty just now? Just go for it, in the name of the Lord, and it won't be there.

So, I need to step forward in faith: work on my book despite the distractions, raise my children in God's way even if it's not easy, exercise my spiritual gifts no matter the difficulties. Once I do, God will move the mountain.


  1. Wow, Jo. That is good. Keep traveling the path God has for us and He will take care of the obstacles. Will try to follow that, thanks for sharing. Love you more and more each day:)

  2. Great thoughts! That's what faith is...acting on what we KNOW God will do...trusting Him to take care of the problems.
    This is a wonderful lesson.

  3. JoDear, this is exactly what I needed today. Thank you for passing on your nugget to us! What a perfect example this it, too! Hugs!

  4. I'll never forget that image of the self-opening gate, Joanne. What a wonderful analogy to any of the things we feel called to do in this life. Wonderful lesson for me to keep on pressing forward until the spring is sprung and the gate swings open!

  5. Aloha Joanne, I found your blog while visiting Kristen on "Exemplify" hey good luck on the starbucks giveaway. I enjoyed my visit and I went to read some of your writings, I signed up for Faith writers but never pursued it as yet. I enjoyed reading your posts and will be back to read more.. Blessings Lorie


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