Walking in a Fog – A Change of Perspective

Do you ever feel as if you’re walking in a fog?  You can see what’s in front of you and a bit of what’s around you, but you can’t see what’s in the distance.

Do you even feel as if you’re living in a fog?  You know what’s going on in the here and now, but you can’t see the bigger picture.  You may be asking how or why did this happen unable to see any potential good.  You simply can’t see the forest; you can only see the trees.

I’ve been in the fog for about 6 weeks.  Actually, a whirlwind of fog.  I see situations – almost all out of my control – unfolding around me, and I don’t understand why.  Yes, I trust God, but sometimes I’d just like to have some answers.

I’ve asked, “Why me?  Why them?  Why us?”

Do you ever look around at others and think, “Lord, why are their lives so perfect when I am struggling so much? “

In seeking answers,  I have immersed myself in God’s Word and Godly company.  I’ve been digging and questioning and reading and questioning (with some kicking and screaming thrown in for good measure:)

I have felt as if I was getting absolutely no where.

Helllloo, God?  Remember me?  Could you help me out here?  Silence.  More silence.

Until this morning – this morning everything I’ve been learning and reading clicked into place.

As I walked about 6:00 am, I listened to Found Favor from Life Church with guest speaker Steven Furtick.  He asked us if we wanted to find “favor” with God.  Not the “give me a parking spot near the door” favor. But, a “interrupt my life” favor.

Mary had favor with God.  She gave birth to a son that she would later watch die on a cross.

Job had favor with God. He lost all of his children and all his belongings – and more.

Furtick gave many examples of those who “found favor” with God.  But, favor doesn’t mean “easy life” as we’ve often been taught.  In fact, it often means difficulty.  No, it doesn’t have to be as severe as Mary or Job or Paul or Peter.  But, finding favor with God means struggles and interruptions nonetheless.

Near the end of the message, Furtick previewed next week’s message on FOG – Favor of God.  He asked the listener to consider it they are living in the FOG- the favor of God – complete with struggle and life interruptions.

The podcast ended.

I decided to talk to God in the silence, and here’s what God spoke to my heart…

You’re walking in the fog, Sarah.  (And, I was literally walking in fog! )  I’ve tried to help you see that my plans aren’t your plans. I am at work. I will redeem this in my own time for my glory.

To which I reply, no, no you haven’t, God. You’ve not tried to tell me.  You’ve left me hanging.  Tossing about as if I’m bipolar.

Then, the connections flooded my heart in a way only God could provide….

Jonah:   Navigating a Life Interrupted by Priscilla Shirer

I’m participating in this study with the ladies at my church.  On Wednesday, the following passage struck me between the eyes: “God graciously gives divine intervention to His children.  He presents them an opportunity to partner with Him in purposes they could never conceive.  A life interrupted by a holy God is a privilege…God doesn’t need us to complete His purposes, yet He still chooses to ask us to partner with Him.  It’s unfathomable.  His calling you means that He has chosen you above anyone else to do what He is asking.  You are the one He singled out and pinpointed as His partner for a particular project. “

Really? God chose me to walk through what I walk through because I am His partner?  These life interruptions and difficulties are a privilege?

This was a new perspective for me.  I’ve always know that God can turn ANY situation for His glory, but to think the difficulty or interruption is a privilege is remarkable.  A gift from an Almighty God.  Amazing.

Daniel 3:  Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego

In a rather odd twist of events, I am teaching this story to the children at my church this Sunday.  I’ve heard this story a million times (slight exaggeration maybe).  So, as I picked up my Bible to begin studying,  my attitude was one of…yawn, I’ve got this.

Wrong attitude.  As I read Daniel 3, all I could think of was…Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were the only ones obeying God.  They would not bow to Nebuchadnezzar’s golden statue because they only worshipped the one, true God.

How “fair” is it that they were thrown in the fiery furnace?  It seemed the good guys were going to lose.  For me, that would’ve definitely been a “why me, God” moment.

But, these three faithful men said, “Our God will save us.”  If he doesn’t, then that’s ok too.  WHAT!?!??!  Oh, to have THAT faith.

And, it was in the furnace that they saw Jesus, standing among them, protecting them.  God took what seemed unjust and wrong  – a major life interruption – and he used it for HIS glory.

Prayer:  Does It Make Any Difference?  By Philip Yancy

 

My friend, Angie, and I are reading this book together.  There are so many parts of this book I’d love to share, but (honestly) I am still processing and understanding prayer.  However, God brought this quote to mind as thought about the “why me’s” in life:  “Prayer is not a means of removing the unknown and unpredictable elements in life, but rather a way of including the unknown and unpredictable in the outworking of the grace of God in our lives.”

God’s not going to remove the unknown and unpredicatable.  If he did, I wouldn’t rely on Him – stay close to Him.  Again, this book has helped me to understand the necessity and awesomeness of life’s interruptions as God grows me/us through them.

Walking in the FOG is just where God needs me.  I can see what I need to see to accomplish just what he needs me to.   I can’t see too far in the future.  I can’t understand or see the bigger picture because if I could, I wouldn’t need Him directing me.  When in the FOG, I have to submit and lean completely on Him because my vision is limited – He has to be my guide.

While I will continue asking, “Why me?” – it won’t be with the same expectation.  I won’t mean “why poor ole me?” or “poor Sarah, what’s going to happen next.”

No.  No more.

Now, I ask, “Why me, Lord?  Why are you choosing to partner with me?  What are you trying to teach me?  How can I use this for your glory? “  From here on, the struggles and difficulties and interruptions will become a chance to partner with the God of the universe in doing his good work.

I pray the next time you ask, “Why me, Lord?” that your heart is seeking to lament less and glorify more.

 

Comments

  1. Jan Morikone says:

    Thanks Sarah, I needed this so much. I really like this fresh perspective. If we see the whole picture then we would tend to want to direct our own steps rather than lean on God for direction.

  2. I’ve often stood at the door, sneakered and iPod-ed, ready to walk, and been stopped by the sight of fog thick as pea soup. What is my fear? That I can’t see the thing that will hurt me. (Ah, the spiritual parallels!) I can only see the step right in front of me, but when you think about it, that’s the only one I’m ever asked to take. This thought has helped me through a lot of “fog” situations in recent years. I don’t need to have full view. I just need the courage to take the clear next step.

    I love how you tied all those resources together, Sarah.

    • Thanks, Marilyn. I think God connected all of these resources for me because he was trying to send me a LOUD and CLEAR message through the fog;) I needed this message:)

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