Move Forward by Remembering

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This morning brought a thick fog for the school drop off drive.  The clear crisp morning air had been replaced by condensed and compacted cotton, so damp with dew, that it felt like my minivan was plowing through it.

Slowly and steadily we crept through making our way past familiar landmarks.  Pausing a bit longer at stop signs, rolling my windows down to hear something coming that I couldn’t yet see.

The drive home felt extra silent.  So I started talking myself through my drive, remembering what should come next.  Recalling the house that has the geese.   The big bump in the road.  Marking off little measures of progress.  The sign for our neighbor’s seed company let me know the dirt road I needed to turn on was just one mile ahead of me.

The thick fog suddenly felt representative of life right now.  This thick, heavy, dense, haze.  The way it just hung and covered and shielded what was ahead on the road.  I thought of how helpful it had been to be able to recall all of the landmarks and attributes of the road on my little drive to aid in getting me where I was going.

I realized how important it is to remember God’s goodness, His faithfulness, His attributes, and all of the landmarks He has taken me by in my faith to help move me forward.

In some ways, I wish the future would be a little more familiar.  Where I did not feel so uncertain about what lies ahead.  But then, I got a good nudge from the Holy Spirit.  When I turned down the dirt road (the one in the picture above), I didn’t know if I would find a pheasant or a skunk wandering down the path, a neighbor in a tractor pulling a trailer, a loose sheep or a runaway cow.

Any of those things could have been on this road between the point I stopped to take the picture and the point where my house is.  I didn’t know what would be on the road when I turned on to it.  In fact, none of those things even crossed my mind.  I was simply thinking…this is the way home.

I began thinking about my life.  The unknown amount of time that remains.  The uncertain events, circumstances, & seasons which my time will hold.  The ones that may go before me, and the ones that will remain when I am gone.

Can I rest assured, not consumed by anxiety of unknown details, but be at peace that I am on my way home?

“For this world is not our home; we are looking forward to our everlasting home.”  Hebrews 13:14 (TLB)

We need to remember, through even the foggiest and uncertain times, who God is.  We need to remember the incredible characteristics of God the Father, Jesus the Savior, and the Holy Spirit when we are doubtful and without a good bearing.  We need to remember and look forward to eternity to choose to stay on the path towards home.

When the ride is clear and smooth it is easy to overlook the little nuances, to fly by quickly as the details blur together.  But oh, how paying attention to the details and nuances when it is bright certainly helps navigate when it is foggy or dark.

How much more important it is then to take in the details and nuances of who Jesus is, who God the Father is, who the Holy Spirit is.  For when there is good going on we can quickly overlook, but those characteristics, details, and nuances become vital when we are going through dark times.

Being familiar with the way, the truth, and the life is what will get us to the path that will lead us home, even when the road is uncertain and covered with dense fog.

Live it Out 

Take the time to read Psalm 77 (MSG) below.   We can be consumed by our distress and our doubts.  Remembering who God is and what the Lord has done for us, can give us courage to continue down our paths and can help us stay on the road that will lead us home.

As you read identify any words or phrases that resonate with you.  Make a little note of what those are.

I yell out to my God, I yell with all my might,
I yell at the top of my lungs. He listens.

2-6 I found myself in trouble and went looking for my Lord;
my life was an open wound that wouldn’t heal.

When friends said, “Everything will turn out all right,”
I didn’t believe a word they said.

I remember God—and shake my head.
I bow my head—then wring my hands.

I’m awake all night—not a wink of sleep;
I can’t even say what’s bothering me.

I go over the days one by one,I ponder the years gone by.
I strum my lute all through the night,
wondering how to get my life together.

7-10 Will the Lord walk off and leave us for good?
Will he never smile again?

Is his love worn threadbare?
Has his salvation promise burned out?

Has God forgotten his manners?
Has he angrily stalked off and left us?
“Just my luck,” I said. “The High God goes out of business
just the moment I need him.”

11-12 Once again I’ll go over what God has done,
lay out on the table the ancient wonders;

I’ll ponder all the things you’ve accomplished,
and give a long, loving look at your acts.

13-15 O God! Your way is holy!
No god is great like God!

You’re the God who makes things happen;
you showed everyone what you can do—
You pulled your people out of the worst kind of trouble,
rescued the children of Jacob and Joseph.

16-19 Ocean saw you in action, God,
saw you and trembled with fear;
Deep Ocean was scared to death.

Clouds poured buckets of rain,
Sky exploded with thunder,
your arrows flashing this way and that.
From Whirlwind came your thundering voice,
Lightning exposed the world,
Earth reeled and rocked.
You strode right through Ocean,
walked straight through roaring Ocean,
but nobody saw you come or go.

20 Hidden in the hands of Moses and Aaron,
You led your people like a flock of sheep.

This Psalm mentions God’s faithfulness to the children of Jacob and Joseph, and work through the hands of leaders like Moses and Aaron.  When was a time that God’s faithfulness sustained you?  When have you seen God’s faithfulness in the lives of others?

Remembering God’s faithfulness can help us continue to put our trust in Him, and follow His path even in the fog.

Pray Through It

Beloved Lord, thank You so much for being a God of miracles, of faithfulness, of love, of compassion, of wisdom, of direction, of discernment, and of endless provision.  Thank you for preparing a way for us to be eternally at home with You. 

Lord, the fog of our days can feel so thick, so heavy, so depressing, so disconcerting that we can lose our ways or even get to the point where we are too scared to continue traveling down the path for fear of what lies ahead.  

Lord, help us to fellowship with You daily to take in the nuances of who You are and to become familiar in intimate detail with Your works & wonders, so that when we can’t see very far at all, we have a wealth of faith from You to remember and direct us down the path that will lead us home.  

In the name of Jesus, who is the way, the truth, and the life.  Amen

 

 

 

 

 

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