Life. The best way that I know how to describe it is as a path... a short, but windy path that I can never predict and can never plan for. There is a fog on this path, a thick fog that I cannot see through and that never goes away. I can dream about what is past that fog; I can think and pray and hope, but I can never know for sure. Sometimes, the mystery behind the fog excites me; most times, I stand on the path and stare into the fog in confusion, longing to know what lies behind it, but often too scared to step into it.
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
He leads me beside quiet waters,
He refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for His name’s sake.
Sometimes, on this pathway of life, the Lord asks me to make decisions - some small, some life-altering. If I can't see beyond the fog on my own path, then I can't expect those around me to be able to see any more clearly beyond it. Oftentimes, I cannot understand why I am making a decision except for the fact that the Lord is asking me to make it; and, therefore, I cannot expect those around me to understand, either. This is when I fall back into my Father's arms and I am overwhelmed by the peace that I have that I do not understand - and I am able to rest. Sometimes, I seek after the Lord so hard and so long about a decision, and the only answer that I get is peace. It's an excited, peaceful, "I don't understand this or how this is going to work" feeling. Yet it is a peace, and I can rest in His peace, and so I move on. I step forward into the fog, shaking and weak and scared, yet reaching out for the Hand that beckons me - and I grasp it tightly and I take a breath and I trust.
"You can't steal second base if you still have one foot on first."
I have to learn to let go of the things which are behind me if I am to move forward - with both feet - into the fog. The only reason that I can do this is because my God's Name is El Roi - "the God who sees" me right where I am. My God's Name is El Shaddai - "God all sufficient," able to provide for my every need. My God's Name is Jehovah Nissi - "The Lord our banner," and His banner over me is love (Song of Solomon 2:4). My God's Name is Jehovah-Shalom - "The Lord our peace," and this is a peace that passes my understanding (Romans 5:1). My God's Name is Jehovah-Shammah - "The Lord is present with us," never leaving me to be alone (Hebrews 13:5). My God's Name is Jehovah-Raah - "The Lord our Shepherd," and He leads me and guides me in His wisdom. And my God's Name is Abba Father - my protector, my friend, my rock, my fortress, the lover of my soul.
Yet the snare that often wraps itself around me, causing me to stumble, is the fact that the Lord often says "no" to things that I have thought were so right for so long. Sometimes, I ask Him why He says "no," why I can't have what I have longed for for so long. And then I realize that maybe I have been asking the wrong question all along. "In all your ways submit to Me, and I will make your path straight," He says to me (Proverbs 3:6). He may say "no" to something that I have prayed for, longed for, and sought after for so long - but He never says "no" to His Plan, to the way that He has shaped my path before I was even born. His Plan has been and is and will be forever... it has never changed, is not changing, and will never change. It is eternal, and it is best - best for His Kingdom purposes and best for my life. When I come to truly believe that and completely trust Him in that is when I will realize that the right question is not, "Why have You said no to this thing that I have longed for?" but, "Why am I so loved by You, so covered in Your grace, so held in Your hand that You have chosen to protect me from the things that only You can see?" Sometimes, the Lord gives us a glimpse into His reason for things; every time, He has a reason more perfect than any we could ever have.
I can't see past the fog on this pathway of my life. I am not supposed to. I am only responsible to be faithful to the Lord with every step of my life - to obey Him every step of the way, even when I do not understand. I am not supposed to understand. I am only responsible to trust Him when He asks me to move forward, even when I cannot see what lies ahead. I am not supposed to see what lies ahead. I am only to reach out for His hand that is already reached out for mine, and to cling to it with my life, knowing that I can trust Him with everything.
And, when I view the fog in that light, I am able to rest. When I see God for Who He really is - a God whose Plan has not changed, is not changing, and will never change, a God who keeps His promises forever, a God who loves me so much that He desires to protect me from the things that I cannot see - when I see God as the God that He really is, I am able to rest. And so, tonight, I am resting and thanking God for the fog.