As I walked down the stairs first thing this morning, I paused to look out our little front door window like I often do. It was still dark outside but things looked normal. I sat at the table with my coffee and got myself awake for several minutes before beginning my morning time with the Lord. I’ve been feeling some heaviness in my heart lately. It’s hard sometimes to pinpoint exactly why and so I wanted to have some quality time with the Lord today. Still, my mind was wandering and my thoughts felt disjointed. Sometimes it’s hard to concentrate on scripture and on prayer, and today was one of those times.
I realized that dawn had broken and light was peeking around the edges of the blinds, so I opened the first set of blinds behind me. Those windows face our back yard with lots of tall trees and bushes. I was surprised to see, as the blinds lifted, that fog had suddenly moved in from the north. Where an hour earlier it had been clear, now everything was covered in an eerie haze. I just stood at the window looking out at the blurry trees and watching as the fog was floating in. I knew the trees were still there but they were becoming more and more obscured by the thickening fog.
This haze that shrouded my world this morning matched my mood. A heaviness in my heart, like I said, that can’t quite be defined had been bothering me for a few days. It could be any number of things, I know. Primarily I wonder if it’s Satan’s darts being hurled at me. Discouragement is a favorite weapon of his. An old physical issue is bothering me again; an old hurt is trying to bubble up once more; feeling adrift and not sure of my place in ministry…………yes, those concerns keep me awake at night and press into my thoughts during the day. And there are so many people that I care for that are struggling with serious health issues. I believe all of us know more and more people, young and old alike, that are facing very dangerous illnesses and treatments. Even my neighbor was carried off in an ambulance last week. Turning on the news certainly doesn’t help in the discouragement department these days!
I do not usually have an Eeyore type of personality. Negativity is something that I avoid. Yet sometimes life just gets tiring, doesn’t it? We don’t always see God’s hand at work or hear His voice speak. Like a creeping, silent fog, our disappointments and worries can seep into our hearts and minds to the point that God is almost obscured. We blink and try to focus, but His shape is hard to make out through the thickness of our concerns. We get tired and weary, weighed down more and more by all the messes that are swirling around us – in our own lives or in the lives of the ones we love. It’s difficult to concentrate on His Word and our prayers seem to bounce off the fog in our minds.
Job said it very well: “Behold, I go forward but He is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive Him. When He acts on the left, I cannot behold Him; He turns on the right, I cannot see Him.” (Job 23: 8-9) No matter which way we turn, sometimes, we don’t see God. Oh, we know in our heads that He is there but we don’t see or feel the evidence of that truth. Circumstances don’t change………pains of whatever sort don’t go away………..hurts aren’t resolved…………..God, where are You?
But listen to Job continue speaking in verses 10 and 11: “But He knows the way I take; when He has tried me I shall come forth as gold. My foot has held fast to His path; I have kept His way and not turned aside.” Maybe I can’t see God, but He sees me! He knows the way I take. He has planned this path that I am on and even when it’s clouded with fogs of uncertainty and pain and discouragement, I am to hold fast to this path that He has for me. I am to keep His way and not turn aside. I know that God is present in the pain; I know that He cares; and I know that His light will again shine in my heart, even during the tough times. The fog will lift and the view will be clear one day, but even IN the fog I am to stay on the path……….keep trusting……….and don’t give Satan the freedom to cloud my faith.
And in verse 14, Job says: “For He performs what is appointed for me……..” God will perform what He appoints for me, even in the fog. There are lessons to be learned from the fog out my window and from the fog in my heart! And when the fog lifts, how beautiful the view will be! Thank you, Lord!