“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 (a repost)

I haven't been terribly good about blogging lately - with the whole trying to sell the house, work on my book, write for Exemplify, shuttle kids back and forth three times a day and such, the new thoughts haven't been coming (and when they do, I haven't had time to put them down on paper). My goal - for now, anyway, is to have a post a minimum of three times a week - Word-Filled Wednesday (which I've missed the past two weeks), Fiction Friday, and a post on Monday. Anything above that is bonus.

Every other Monday that will be my bi-monthly "Monday Manna" meme (see my tab above for more info), and I'll try to get something up the other Mondays.

This week, it's gonna be a repost - I know I have LOTS of new followers since I started, so for many of you, this is a never-seen reflection. It's one of my favorites. I originally posted it in July of LAST year. Hope you enjoy it (and hope I don't have to resort to reposts too much more in the future!).

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. Joanne,

    Hope things are going well. I know what you mean about not being able to gather your thoughts. I have felt that way, too.

    Praying you will be able to settle down and write, soon.

    Blessings, andrea

  2. It seems as if everyone's so busy this time of year.

    I loved this, Joanne. And keep plugging away. Remember, a page a day is a book a year!

  3. I absolutely LOVED your first paragraph in Nathan's contest. I must follow you... =)


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