It has been a while. I know.
The reality is – and I promised a while ago that I was going to risk being honest here – that sometimes life isn’t easy. Sometimes it can all feel a bit much.
The past month has been a little bit like that.
I’ve gone weeks without my daily quiet time, sitting here on the sea front, and I became increasingly aware how vital it had become, as the days got busier, the challenges bigger, and my strength diminished.
Last week I got just one brief moment and snatched half an hour in my usual spot. Ironically – and not coincidentally – that day was one in the middle of several days of thick, 24 hour fog so my beautiful, soothing view was obscured. In addition, I didn’t have internet access to write (yet another temporary hitch that made writing this blog impossible in the usual way) so I recorded a voice memo on my phone instead.
This is the transcription:
“It might seem obvious sitting here with the mist around to talk about believing in things that you can’t see, but just because it is obvious it doesn’t mean it isn’t something we need to think about. The last few weeks I’ve struggled to see the beauty in the situation around me; I’ve struggled to see where I’m heading and like a ship when the mist comes down, that left me with a couple of options.
I could chose can rely on the navigation aid that I have and fix my path according to the things that I know are true, the things that others have told me are true. As a Christian that “navigation aid” is the Word of God.
However the truth is sometimes you can become fearful, or lose your way, become insecure or just plain tired and at those moments, the safest thing to do is just to drop anchor and stay where you are. You know that the mist will past, and you know that when it does, when the fog lifts, you know that you will be able to see clearly.
I think at first, as things began to build up around me and “the way” became obscured, I was relying on the Scriptures and things I knew, standing on the Word and knowing that whatever happened those things were true. Knowing that just because I didn’t feel them, just because I couldn’t see them, didn’t mean that they weren’t true. I just kept confessing to myself, and over myself, the promises that God had previously given me, the promises that His Word show me, and relying on those as my “navigation aids”.
Last week however, when my husband was away in Denmark on mission, I got to the point where even that was too much. All I felt I could do was drop anchor and just stand firm where I was – rooted still in the Scriptures but just standing still, not trying to seek Him particularly, not trying to learn, not trying to look around just really head down, rooted to the spot (securely rooted and knowing I was secure) but just staying still, waiting for it to pass.
Through God’s Grace there was no storm during that time. Everything was just flat, like today. The sea in front of me now is an absolute mill pond. There are no ripples, the tide is coming in and yet you can’t see any evidence of the waves at all, not because of the mist but because the surface of the sea is still. There is no wind today and it is just a smooth expanse of water broken occasionally by the rocks which are disappearing as the tide is coming in.
All is still. There are ships out here at anchor and they are just waiting.
Even as we wait, even in the short time I’ve been here, the sun is burning strongly and the mist is clearing over the land. I can see the blue sky from where I am, right above me, and out towards the sea I can start to make out some of the ships as their light is reflecting the sunlight.
Like those ships, I hope that this week and over the past few weeks, even once I’d dropped anchor, I was still able to be reflecting God’s light. I hope that as I served through the week I was still in the right place, reflecting His Glory to those that I was working with, and those that I was serving.
I know that there is going to come a day when this mist is going to clear for me, that I’m going to see the path that God has laid out for me, and in the meantime I’m just sitting here, waiting. I’m going to wait upon the Lord and I’m going to continue to seek Him. His word promises that if I seek Him with all my heart, I will find Him (Jeremiah 29:13).
So that is where I am this week, anchored down, becalmed, waiting for the mist to clear.