Pulling back the curtains a thick fog greeted me. I couldn’t see much at all and yet I knew there was life out there, somewhere…
Recently, I have been feeling in a bit of a fog. Last year, we found ourselves participating in a lot of firsts. Three of our four children got married and we had a three month sabbatical. Now that we are back, it’s time to adjust to new ways; transition into life as it is now. Even what is good and right can seem different and at times uncomfortable, just because it’s unknown. Transitions can be like a fog. You can’t always make out what’s what.
There aren’t huge benefits of fog but it is part of our climate and necessary to see fauna and flora thrive. If we change the climate, including fog, we change biological life on earth leading to uncertain results. So, we learn to embrace the fog and take care navigating in it.
If we have to do that in the natural, then surely we need to do the same in the spiritual. The Father loves it when we are able to embrace the different parts that make up life with Him. The known, the unknown. The comfortable, the uncomfortable. The rough, the smooth. The clear, the unclear. Transitions, like fog, may not appear to have any benefits. But if we didn’t have transitions in life, we wouldn’t be able to move from what is ‘now’ to what is next.
How do we navigate transition well?
Make room for God.
One of the biggest privileges we have as children of God, is the ability to hear His voice. He loves to speak to us. He longs to help us transition so we can move on with Him. We were created to hear His voice. So, invite Him into what you are feeling and facing and listen to what He has to say.
I did just that. I sat and said, “Father, show me how to walk through this time in my life. I want to do it well.” He answered.
What a privilege to be able to call out to Father God and know that He will answer, any time and anywhere. He is interested in every minute detail of our lives and longs to play His part. Will we let Him?
He led me to Psalm 40.
I read. I listened. I received.
Psalm 40 starts with waiting patiently for the Lord. (I was doing that). The Lord hears our cries for help. (That was encouraging). Then it goes on to say we were lifted out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and mire. I thought I’m not really in a pit of despair nor in the mud or mire. Where is this going? I heard His whisper: “Just wait. Keep on reading.”
Then, ‘eureka’, I saw it. I wasn’t in a pit of despair. I wasn’t stuck in mud and mire. But if I chose to focus on what felt uncomfortable and seemed different I could soon find myself stuck. My thoughts and my words in this time of transition are seeds. What I sow now, I’ll reap later. What I empower now will follow me.
With that, the Father continued to whisper:
Trust me (v.4)
The simple act of trust releases joy, hope, and purpose. The very hands that formed us continue to shape our lives. The very One who knows us, knows what we need and when we need it. He knows just how to establish His purposes in us. He knows the beginning from the end and He makes no mistakes. We can face the “now” with its unknowns and awkwardness, knowing His arms are underneath us, supporting us to what is next.
Sing a New Song (v.3)
Trust releases joy and joy gives way to a new song. What songs are we singing in the fog? Are we even singing or are we just waiting for the fog to lift? Making space to sing with thanksgiving, to praise and worship the One who holds all of our moments in His hands will always open the door to His best.
Proclaim my power, unfailing love, and faithfulness (v.10)
Regardless of what we’re facing today, we can always proclaim the goodness of God. His power is matchless, His unfailing love relentless, His faithfulness unfathomable. What better place to centre our thoughts and words than on HIM.
Take joy in doing my will moment by moment (v.8)
How do we move forward? Step by step. When we do the ordinary things in front of us out of a joy and love for the One who has got us, they become the extraordinary He uses for what is next. He begins to write His instructions on our hearts and before long the fog lifts. What was unclear becomes clear. What was unknown becomes known. What was different becomes our new normal. We don’t need to be anxious about time. God stands outside of time, faithfully moulding our character and deepening our relationship with Him which will support what comes next.
He is great! He is our Helper! He is our Saviour! (v. 16-17)
What more do we need? When our focus is on Who He is, then maybe we won’t be asking the question: “When will the fog lift?” But rather, “Father, what do you want to show me in the fog?”
“And I will give you treasures hidden in the darkness – secret riches. I will do this so you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, the one who calls you by name.”