A great follow up to my blog post yesterday about Walking In the Fog is the podcast we posted today at The GodJourney.com: Finding Grace in Desperate Times. Even if you don’t listen to the podcast regularly anymore, this is one not to miss.
It’s a conversation with a friend I’ve known for almost 30 years and the life he is now facing with his wife suffering from Alzheimer’s. I love knowing people who are able to find God’s reality in the most despicable tragedies life can throw at them. Would that God would fix them all so no one has to face them, but that’s not the way he works in the brokenness of the world we live in. It’s how he makes himself known in our sufferings that furthers his work in us and in the world.
And to my great surprise, I heard from the woman who wrote the email that spawned Thursday’s blog. That email was nearly three years old and since I’d removed the name from it then, I’d forgotten who sent it to me. But the person who did recognized it and wrote me:
I remember this woman. It took me back to the time I wrote it and sent it off to you.
He has led us into wider space. It is all that you describe and more. He has led my husband and me into space and relationships that we were unable to comprehend at the time. It brings us incredible peace and joy to live simply step by step following him… He calms the storm every time. Sometimes I find myself giggling afterward, saying to him, “How did you do that?” The wonder of it all leaves me speechless and in awe.
Learning to trust him in the fog sets you up for a lifetime of joy, because your relationship with him becomes unhinged from the circumstances you’re in. As Paul said, he knew contentment in times of great abundance, and contentment in times of paralyzing need. (Philippians 4:11ff). Why? Because it’s not what’s going on around us, but what’s going on inside of us that matters.
It’s about him, and having him is all we really need!
6 thoughts on “Finding God in the Darkest Moments”
“Learning to trust him in the fog, sets you up for a lifetime of joy, because your relationship with him becomes unhinged from the circumstances you’re in.”
Another great thought.
Ruby from Calmar.
Ruby!! Perfect timing! Same thing here!!
“. . . . . because your relationship with him becomes unhinged from the circumstances you’re in.” Thanks. That is a powerful thought. Hits me right where I’m living right now.
“Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.
Come now, let us reason together..this particular time when I read the passage it hit me like a ton of bricks. Really? I accepted the invitation and began to have conversations with him somewhat fearful that I would be struck down by lightening. I was anxious at first, the conversations were clunky, like liturgical prayers sprinkled with heartfelt thoughts and emotions here and there. I became aware that I didn’t have a clue how to reason together. I am not ashamed to tell you that I cried. I cried very hard. I cried out to him saying “I don’t have the faintest idea how to reason together. Show me how. Just show me how.”
I began an unexpected journey in that moment. I was very involved in congregational life. I was busy. Actually at the time I never would have guessed I was unhappy or unfulfilled. Neither would anyone else. It wasn’t until he began to whisper, showing me my life in him was in the conversations I was having regularly in the fellowship hall. The pastor would flip the light switch off and on waving for me to hurry up to enter the sanctuary because the worship service was beginning. I would always apologize to both the pastor and everyone assembled waiting. Then there were my questions. I’d listen to the sermon and more often than not I had questions. Every Sunday as I walked out the door, the Pastor said, “We have a lot of work to do.” I walked to the car as if I had a heavy load on my back. I began to recognize life with him seemed to be more outside of the congregation then within. Life with him was like the Sea of Galilee vs. the Dead Sea. Water flowed in, water flowed out. The body of water remained filled. The pastor’s voice haunted me. “Jesus is not your buddy! He is the Lord Of Lords and King of Kings!” I meekly asked. “Can’t he be both?” It ended well. I climbed in the boat with Jesus setting sail on the Sea of Galilee storms and all.
I felt as if my heart was opening to a life with him. He had without a doubt invited me into a friendship and although it was new, it was real and within that friendship was the awe and wonder of the Lord of Lords and King of Kings. It is both!
I reached out to Wayne. He listened. He supported me, encouraged me to just keep talking to Jesus. When others were attempting to pull me back he helped me with responses that were kind, loving and gentle. He helped me to understand that people are generally well meaning. “God is doing something a bit differently in my life right now. I’m going to see where it leads.”That helped to build bridges even if they seemed artificial at first. Now when I run into people our conversations aren’t about the congregation, they are about life. It’s nice.
Progress seemed slow, the fog was dense. I didn’t recognize it at the time how self reliant I had become. I now relied solely on him. I listened to every podcast in the archives. Every single day. I walked and talked with him. I was as honest as I was able to be.
The day came where the caterpillar dissolved within its chrysalis, it was restructured into a butterfly. I don’t know when, I don’t know how. The timing was perfect. It’s so like him to keep loving us like that.
Thank you. You do not know how much I needed to hear this. Right.Now.
I had a converstation with my Mom about joy being absolute instead of relative. Joy has to be absolute. Everyone has access to the Source of Joy… so why not access to the Joy itself. I understand that some “bounce back” from tragedy or the darkness quicker than others… but when that happens… it seems that the joy is relative. Joy seems more accessible for those that aren’t burned by the darkness or tragedy as much… so they “bounce back” or Joy takes them to life again. I refuse to believe that though. I believe Joy is what fuels the train out of the darkness. Coupled with Hope and Peace… but Joy moves me out of my tragedies and back into life. That Joy has to be absolute… accessible for everyone, no matter what tragedy or darkness or hopelessness someone faces. I have experienced it and seen it in others. Joy is there… but It seems like she is more of friend waiting at the door than an uninvited guest that crashes the party. I still have to be willing to open the door and invite her in.
My thoughts on a foggy (more like smokey) Thursday morning. That’s right… B.C. Forest fires have covered my part of the planet with this dense blanket of smoke. Haven’t seen a clear sky in a few days. I understand the feeling of longing for the Sun to break through.
Ruby from Calmar
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