It's only two in the afternoon but if you look outside it seems the day is almost over.
Dark. Foggy. Cold.
Hard to see your way. Things are looking bleak. It feels like darkness is pressing in.
Dearest friend, if those were descriptions not of the outdoors, but of your heart and soul, I'd put on the coffee pot and we'd sit down by the fire here in my house to talk about it.
I'd listen. I'd empathize. I'd pray for you.
And we'd seek God and ask Him to speak into the fog and forlornness you're experiencing.
I'm thinking about this because I'm walking through life with some who are at this very point right now.
Disheartened, sad, hurting; my heart is aching with them as they walk through the pain of trials and complications that seem insurmountable.
Life seems confusing and doesn't make a lot of sense.
What do you do when life is hard and you are troubled? Where do you turn??
There are three things, no four, on my heart today; ways God has led me when I've experienced suffering and hardship.
"In my anguish, I cried to the Lord..." Psalm 118:5
It is OKAY to cry out to the Lord. There is plenty of Scripture that confirms this is good. He can handle your cries.
"Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always." Psalm 105:4
Don't be passive. Seek the Lord earnestly for what He has for you.
"Whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm..." Proverbs 1:33
Get quiet before Him. Sit with Him and listen. He's got words to say to you.
"Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty." John 6:35
The one thing you can give God is your faith and belief that HE IS; that if He says you won't go hungry or thirsty, He means it.
And that He's got a way forward in the fog, and will show Himself to you in the midst of it.
We wouldn't have a five minute conversation about this. It's more complicated than that.
But there is also a simple truth that I'd repeat over and over:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and don't lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.
As you hold on to Him steadfastly, He may surprise you with crazy, wonderful, beautiful evidences of His love and presence with you.
And, it may be a while before the paths are straight. That's okay.
But if you'll hold firmly onto Him, He will hold firmly onto you.