My phone alerts declaring what is already a reality in my own life.
“Dense fog advisory: little to no visibility.”
Ever feel like that? So much of life is hanging in what feels like unending limbo, just out of reach and completely out of our control. Whether it’s a current situation or something that played out in the past, that’s life, right? Yet, we pretend it’s not and run hard after the elusiveness of control, planned and carefully calculated believing somehow this will bring peace, happiness or the healing we need.
I’ve known this from a really young age. Innocence lost at just four years old through the abuse of someone I trusted. Shame, embarrassment, and mistrust plagued a large part of my childhood. Wounds festered. Years went by and this pain translated into a girl raised in church, yet not walking with Jesus. Fully able to recite the Children’s Shorter Catechism, yet overwhelmed with hurt, mistrust, bitterness, simply needing to be seen and my pain affirmed. Teen, college and single years looking for love in all the wrong places and wild living; yet, garnering success by the world’s standards of career achievements and appearance.
By God’s divine appointment He planted amazing people that spoke life and healing to me, that took me to the feet of Jesus. I would marry the kindest man, allowing God to bring more healing in the most unlikely ways. Beauty and pain. Giving and taking.
Years of infertility that broke me in ways I’d never known. Then, one baby boy blessing followed by another continued to bring life and joy, eyes to see and ears to hear Jesus in ways I wouldn’t have been able to otherwise. My heart was coming more alive than ever. Then one day, after 45 years of marriage, my father left my mother, rocking our world to the core.
Really God? What next?
Wave upon wave it felt. One high followed by and even harder low.
“But the story we’re given is a God-story, not an Abraham-story. What we read in scripture is, ‘Abraham entered into what God was doing for Him and that was the turning point. He trusted God to set him right instead of trying to be right on His own.’” Romans 4:2-3 MSG
Some days it’s tough to see through the fog in life. Some years even. Entire seasons of life. To see what He’s doing and the purposes behind all of this. But perhaps the fog is all by design. And just maybe He’s the fog, so that all we see is Him. Everywhere we look. Just Jesus. And when it’s time, He’ll lift the fog and reveal more. More of His hand gently guiding, more of His heart relentlessly pursuing, more of His love in a thousand gifts.
And all He’s asking is that we get in the boat and allow Him to steer. Surrender. Just ride in the canoe down Jesus’ stream for our life. He won’t force it. That’s not His way. It’s an ask, followed by our choice. Our surrender. Our trust. Our turning point.
While the days, years and seasons in life bring forth painful pruning, we can find that through the Gardener’s touch our roots have grown, producing lasting fruit. By removing the hazardous, unhealthy branches in our life, He longs to bring wholeness into our lives through the life and blood of Jesus.
When I’m overwhelmed by the circumstances of the day, the year or my life, I must force myself to look back on God’s past faithfulness, to recall His unchanging character, His relentless pursuit of my heart, His deep, deep love for me. I must actively sit at His feet, digging through His word, pouring my heart out to Him in prayer. Friends, He is not a God of indifference. He sees. He knows. He cares. He is a good Father.
“You’ve kept track of my every toss and turn through the sleepless nights,
Each tear entered in your ledger, each ache written in your book.” Ps 56:8
The turning point of our lives will always be the moment we enter into what He’s doing and trust. Right there. That’s the turning point. The moment we choose to believe He loves us, He is for us and He will empower us through these days. Not easy, but bit by bit we can do it. And out of it will come beautiful God-stories, oaks of righteousness (Isaiah 61:3) providing shade for many, a display of His splendor. And by His grace, like Job we can declare, “My ears had heard of you, but now my eyes have seen.”
Thank you Jesus. I wouldn’t have chosen it, but I wouldn’t change it. Only You can make painful beautiful. And by Your grace, I choose to enter in, eyes on You, looking, watching and waiting to see Your perfect will, Your plans, and Your purposes to unfold for my good and Your glory. Your love Jesus is better than life because You are life.