Monday, March 4, 2013

Out of the Fog



What a long, hard winter it has seemed.

Has it to you?

Lousy weather, a string of overlapping sicknesses, chronic pain, and caring for a loved one with rapidly advancing Alzheimer’s is not the best recipe for success in the pursuit and procurement of happiness during the physically darkest months.

(Always winter, and never Christmas, as C.S. Lewis described Narnia.) Just cold and dark and dull. Nothing to look forward to.

I feel like I’ve been wandering in a dense, chilly fog of unanswerable questions and unanswered prayer.

Oppression.


Sometimes the faith thing is hard.

I wish it were easier.

I wish God would just slice through the veil and let us SEE.

“Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.”

But I can’t see his face through the fog.

***

Last Sunday morning, I was cozy in bed with my coffee and devotional book.

“Kim! Kim, come down here,” my husband called.

“Is it mandatory?” I whimpered.

“Oh, never mind,” he gave up.

So of course I stomped downstairs.

Frigid air was pouring in the front door. My husband was out on the porch, looking at this:




 As we watched, thick yellow bands of light pierced through the heavy fog. It had been rainy and overcast for days on end. 

Then, this:




These iphone pics don’t begin to do the sight justice. They don't capture the vivid contrast of color.

It was intense.

A day or two later, I ran into a friend who’s battling a debilitating illness. In spite of a daunting diagnosis, she is bravely hanging onto faith. Actually, her faith is growing stronger and stronger in spite of it.

When I asked her how she was doing, she told me that she wished she could still do something she did before her illness. (Go for a walk.)

But then she immediately shifted into telling me about what had happened to her on Sunday morning. She, too, had been in bed with her devotional book, when she glanced out her bedroom window. She said, ‘I’ve never seen anything like it. Big yellow beams of light were streaming through the branches of a bare tree, as if God were above with his hands outstretched.”

“We saw it, too!” I told her. From several miles away. A completely different vantage point.

A sign.

Later, we exchanged pictures. She had drawn this in her journal:





Sometimes it’s hard to see God. Where are You in all of this mess? we cry.

God seems silent. The fog of unknowing remains. We stumble along in the dark, tripping over our doubts and fears.

It is hard to keep looking up into impenetrable leaden skies.


But, in an instant, God breaks through.


He always breaks through.

The light of His truth slices through the darkness like a saber, scattering the obscuring fog of uncertainties.

I AM.

***


“Jesus knew that they wanted to ask him, so he said to them, “Is this what you are asking yourselves, what I meant by saying, ‘A little while and you will not see me, and again a little while and you will see me’?  Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy. When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.”                 (John 16: 19-22)

“A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me.
 Because I live, you will live also. At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you." (John 14:19-20)



(This one's for Karen. See the last comment on previous post.I needed a little encouragement!)

12 comments:

Beverly Varnado said...

Kim, it has seemed a long gray winter to me, as well, so I've been captivated also by rare bursts of light. Thanks for sharing yours. Prayers going up for your ongoing challenges. Love, love, love you! Bev

Christine said...

Thank you for this!!! I needed this at just the right time. This too has been a hard, long winter for me. I spent the entire day (ugly) crying. My 3 little boys are tucked in and asleep and I'm sitting in my bed, my eyes almost swollen shut and feeling the guilt from my anger at God today. I was so angry at him b/c I keep waiting and waiting to see him through this horrible fog and my anger has taken me to a dark place. I KNOW he's here, but my faith has grown weak. I'm weary and I'm only 35. I just keep telling myself that I have to push forward and keep the faith. I have to be in constant contact with the Lord instead of pushing him away in my anger. Praying for you and always appreciate your thoughts so much.

Kim said...

Thank you both for connecting and BEING REAL.

This Life thing is not easy. We need to love and support each other. Bev, thanks for that extra measure of love and prayers!

Christine, I remember how it was when my 3 were little and I was so exhausted. I am praying for renewed strength for you.

The one thing that has gotten me through this sad, hard winter is filling the house with praise music, especially when I've felt like giving up. (Turn the volume up loud!

Love, Kim

Karen said...

sigh....yes. Thank you beautiful, beautiful. Praying for some Spring for you and Christmas, no, even better EASTER!!!

HopeandWhimsy said...

Boy did I need to read this today! Thank you Kim, as always! I am so grateful you share yourself with us.
Faithful reader, not so faithful commenter,
Rebecca

(and thank you Karen for the prodding!!)

Anonymous said...

It must be precious to have such a similar experience of God's light as your friend, as you are both walking on different but very hard paths. I love the verse about joy in the morning on her journal page.

Frankly, I am ready for spring myself!

Praying for a successful trip for Miss Katherine this weekend.

Em

Anonymous said...

This post made me think of a quote I recently read:
“When you are going through a hard time and wondering where God is, remember the teacher is always quiet during the test.” -Unknown

Jennifer Walters said...

Jennifer

The Retarded Mother said...

Oh how I have missed your postings. I get it--no pressure--just saying you have been missed.
I was just thinking today how I work hard to keep light out sometimes---room darkening blinds, eye mask, etc. And I am always so amazed at how even a tiny bit of light still makes it through in spite of my own efforts to not have light. Yesterday I said, "Ok, Holy Spirit, let me be open to all of the ways that you might show up today." I forget to be open. I am guilty of turning my eyes toward the light. Thank goodness that we can all be reminders to one another and actually BE that light..that love..those hands, those feet,that skin ....that shows up. You surely have done it for me. Love to all. Marianne

The Retarded Mother said...

Oh how I have missed your postings. I get it--no pressure--just saying you have been missed.
I was just thinking today how I work hard to keep light out sometimes---room darkening blinds, eye mask, etc. And I am always so amazed at how even a tiny bit of light still makes it through in spite of my own efforts to not have light. Yesterday I said, "Ok, Holy Spirit, let me be open to all of the ways that you might show up today." I forget to be open. I am guilty of turning my eyes toward the light. Thank goodness that we can all be reminders to one another and actually BE that light..that love..those hands, those feet,that skin ....that shows up. You surely have done it for me. Love to all. Marianne

Empty Nest Full Life said...

I know exactly the fog that you speak of. I too am there, but if I listen and watch carefully God reminds me that He is right here with me. This season of waiting is hard. Thank you for sharing.

Anonymous said...

thank you..this is so me right now..Melody