TURN ON THE FOG LIGHTS, PLEASE! (BY GUEST ANGELA BROYLES)
When asked to write a blog on blessings, I did what I normally do and said, “Sure, I can do that. Thanks for asking.” Later I realized I had agreed to write about being blessed while going through the most difficult challenge of my life. Right now I feel as though I am wading through a swamp with no idea when the fog will lift. All I can do is cling to hope and trust the Lord will lift the fog in His time. I relish the day I can look back at the swamp and realize that the incredible fear I had will be a spiritual milestone.
Even now as we go through these fearful and uncertain times with a deadly virus looming, I put my hope and trust in the Lord. I trust that the fog will lift soon and we will be able to look back and see goodness, kindness, and gratitude in ourselves and in our fellow man. In the battle of this viral war while I’m trying to maintain proper protection and isolation, I must guard against the desire to have control. What I need to do is surrender – surrender to its demands. But that’s tough since human nature dictates otherwise. The war becomes as much of a mental battle as it is a physical one. Not too surprising as I believe the greatest wars are fought within the heart and mind. Control of the outcome is a lie I tell myself. The only thing I can trust is that no one except God has it all under control. My heart and mind is where the battle gear must be worn. Full armor on – shield, sword, helmet, shoes, belt, and breastplate. Only then will God be glorified and His blessings will flow.
As a woman who struggles on the battlefield of life, I go to the Word of God to map out my strategy. Reading scripture gives me reinforcement and helps me remember I’m not the first to walk through this world with questions. While studying the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew 1:1-16, I find examples within the family tree of those who faced difficult situations. As I look closer, I discover hidden blessings through the course of their endurance.
Ruth is one of those examples. This woman scavenged wayward wheat stalks from the field of Boaz to feed herself and Naomi, her mother-in-law. Upon finding favor with Boaz, Naomi instructed Ruth to humble herself and sleep at the man’s feet. While strange, Ruth did not question the mandate and humbled herself in obedience. She later married Boaz. Sometimes obedience does not make sense. In fact, I can think of several times obedience to God’s calling has not made sense. Yet He is looking for me to be ready and do what He calls me to do whatever that may be. The blessing is that when I am obedient in small things, He opens doors for bigger things.
King David is another example of blessing from the family tree of Jesus. David had serious reasons by which to be ashamed. Murder and adultery were at the top of the list! David grieved and repented before the Lord. Because of his penitent heart, God blessed his descendants for generations to come. David became known as a “man after God’s own heart.” He was used to achieve God’s chosen plan including the birth of His Son through the Davidic line.
A quality of humility can be seen in the lives of both Ruth and David. God offers instruction in 2 Chronicles 7:14 to bring great blessing. “If My people who are called by my name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sins and heal their land.” We would be wise to follow those instructions especially now.
While digging into the Word and searching my soul, God has shown me that I’m far from the first person to be tested or brought to my knees from life’s challenges. By humbling myself, I have found the Lord’s blessing and hope. Fog is a disorientating force that confuses my path, but I look to Jesus to ask for clarity and direction. If God can do mighty things in the lives of ordinary people like Ruth and David, then He can choose to do mighty things through me. I must be obedient, have humility, repent, believe, and then wait. He wants to bless me. The blessing, however, may not be packaged in the way I envision it. That’s where trust comes in. Learning to trust the Lord in the fog of life and wading through the unknown is an opportunity for abundant blessing that is waiting just around the corner.
I would like to conclude with some words I found tucked away in my Bible that came from an old newspaper clipping I saved. “O My child, be quick to obey. For the moving of My Spirit may at times be inconvenient to the flesh, and may at other times be diametrically opposed to reason, but obey Me regardless of the cost. Thou wilt in every case be amply repaid for any sacrifices by an abundance of blessing.”
Angela Broyles is the founder of Bluewater Publications. Prior to establishing her publishing company, she was the owner of an independent bookstore where she gained valuable knowledge for marketing independent authors. Angela enjoys the challenge of marketing and finding out of the way places to dine with her husband of 30 years.