Trying to see through the fog
The path forward through life is rarely clear. At least, it's rarely mapped out on a course which is easy to follow with nothing but sunshine and flowers to experience along the way.
Over the last few weeks I've found myself standing in the middle of the road, uncertain of the way forward. Though I am daily in prayer and seeking to hear God's voice, a thick fog has rolled in, obscuring the view. There is no clear "right answer", and I feel stuck. Yet, choices need to be made and I desire to lead in a God honoring way, making good use of time and resources.
I decided to re-read a book that made a strong impression on me several years ago. It's Hannah Hurnard's Hind's Feet on High Places. I highly recommend it for those struggling with fear and/or uncertainty. It's an allegorical story of the title character, named Much-Afraid, and her spiritual journey through difficult places to reach the High Places, where she will be transformed.
I was struck by the reflection I saw of myself in the title character as she travels into the mist:
"She began to realize that, cowardly though she was, there was something in her which responded with a surge of excitement to the tests and difficulties of the way better than to easier and duller circumstances. It was true that fear sent a dreadful shuddering thrill through her, but nevertheless it was a thrill, and she found herself realizing with astonishment that even the dizzy precipice had been more to her liking than this dreary plodding on and on through the bewildering mist. In some way the dangers of the storm had stimulated her; now there was nothing but tameness, just a trudge, trudge forward, day after day, able to see nothing except for white, clinging mist which hung about the mountains without a gleam of sunshine breaking through."
How many of you find yourself in this same circumstance? I have no doubt that God, in His infinite wisdom, has allowed this mist to settle over the path. I know there are lessons for me to learn, and deeper revelations to grasp as to what my relationship with Him could be through the seasons of "trudging".
I don't think it spoils the book to reassure you that eventually the mist lifts, and Much-Afraid does indeed reach the High Places, but not before experiencing the Valley of Loss, the Place of Anointing, and many other milestones along the path.
Perhaps God has obscured the view for the very reason that if we were to see what lies ahead, we wouldn't have the confidence to take His hand as He leads us forward. Yet, if we truly believe the Shepherd is good and trustworthy, we would say, "Lead on Lord, though I don't know where we are going."
Rather than standing paralyzed with the uncertainty of the future, I hope you can join me as we choose to step forward with confidence, sight unseen, trusting that the path upon which we've been placed is a good one. This step is not easy, nor is it comfortable. Yet, it is necessary.
"The Lord God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds' feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places." Habakkuk 3:19