Foggy Vision

I have escaped to the mountains! I have been here for week enjoying a last dose of winter before returning to South Florida’s mid-eighties. Do you ever feel like escaping? I do. Right now I’d love to escape the world with all its angst, terror, and lawlessness. For me, hiding in the mountains is tempting. What is your dream escape?

On this trip we are actually are working. Still, it is a retreat of sorts, but not a vacation. A little funny aside, I misspelled retreat as “restreat.” It feels a bit like a rest-treat away from city life. You may find me using the term in the future {wink}.

We are opening the family home for the vacation rental market. I also get to offer sage advice (ahem) on the first small cabin under construction on our dream property. The little cabin now has a roof and siding. After a year long delay, we are building a hope and a future.

While we have been here, I have enjoyed the sound of the river and sight of the mountains. Stepping away, I can see God’s grace in my life more clearly. The world still reaches out and tries to distract me. I find I am doing better at spotting it and pushing back against the distractions.

The distractions pulled hard this week. I almost turned around and went back to Florida to “rescue” someone I love. Using advice from my prayer warriors and husband, God stopped me from jumping to conclusions and trying to be the hero. He reminded me I am not here to solve anyone’s problems. It is not what God told me to do that day. He wants me here with you in this moment.

To be with you prayerfully, consciously, and faithfully. I have stumbled in listening for His still small voice lately. The distractions are strong. The evil one has brought pain, hurt and grief for too many months. Over those months, I lost the will to write and praise our God.

Sitting and writing at the dining table, I glance up to see fog and mist settle over the river. This is what the last year has been like. Can I get a video of this? Can I capture it? I asked myself. Then ran outside, without my jacket into the cold damp mist and fog with my trusty phone. I think my moms are rolling their eyes as they read this! As I took a few short videos, I thought about what we all have been through since we opened this house in early March of the year of our Lord 2020.

The fog that descended on all of us in 2020 was not mist and chill. It was a virus crisis, political unrest, and devious plans laced with lies and fears. This fog rolled toward us down the rivers, mountains, through cities and across oceans. We could see it coming but, as individuals, we could not stop the damp chill surrounding us and penetrating through our clothing (protections), skin (physically touching us), and marrow (piercing our souls).

This spiritual fog distracts us from what is important and what He calls us to do today. Just like the sight of the fog rolling on the river distracted me from my writing for several minutes. What else does fog do? It blurs our vision. Maybe the fog blinds us to guidance or information. Consider trying to see the lines in the road or the oncoming traffic while driving in heavy fog conditions. This fog blurs the lines between right and wrong, good and evil, until we are not sure where we stand with our families, friends, Country, and God.

When it rolled in to isolate me, I felt shock and fear. Mostly I felt alone. What about you? Has the virus crisis fog distorted your views too? During this time I cried out to God, and He has been my shelter. I have clung to Him like a child fearfully clings to her father’s hand in a storm. So you might ask, “What is wrong with clinging to the Father?” I am asking myself the same question.

Yet the situation also reminds me of Job. The evil one also attacked Him. He lost everything. Just like millions of people in our world who have survived this last year of turmoil. Job lost his family, livelihood, wealth, and his health. He ended up sitting in sackcloth and ashes. He was in pain, covered in sores, and his flesh fell from his bones. His friends tormented him with solutions. It is no wonder he descended into depression, letting it fog his judgment and understanding.

However, he did not lose his faith in God. Job clung to God, asking why He would not deliver him from his suffering, even begging for death. He could not get out of his self-pity. His suffering and grief fogged his mind and dampened his faith. Until the Lord spoke to him, Job could not understand. (Job Chapter 42 included at the end of the post).

The best part is, once Job listened to God, he looked past his troubles and repented. God accepted his repentance and forgave Job. When Job prayed for his friends as God directed, God restored all he had lost and doubled it.

Heavenly Father, lift the fog from around us. Let us see clearly Your plans for our hopes, dreams and futures. Let us see, hear and speak Your truth in our world today. That we may shine your light in the darkness. Thank you, Father, for your Holy Love and Guidance in our Journeys. In Jesus’ name, amen. In the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, amen.

May the Almighty bless us and keep us,

Milly

*The Book of Job Chapter 42

1 Then Job answered the Lord and said:

2 “I know that You can do everything, And that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You.

3 You asked, ‘Who is this who hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.

4 Listen, please, and let me speak; You said, ‘I will question you, and you shall answer Me.’

5 “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, But now my eye sees You.

6 Therefore I abhor myself, And repent in dust and ashes.”

7 And so it was, after the Lord had spoken these words to Job, that the Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “My wrath is aroused against you and your two friends, for you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has. 8 Now therefore, take for yourselves seven bulls and seven rams, go to My servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and My servant Job shall pray for you. For I will accept him, lest I deal with you according to your folly; because you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has.”

9 So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went and did as the Lord commanded them; for the Lord had accepted Job. 10 And the Lord restored Job’s losses when he prayed for his friends. Indeed the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before. 11 Then all his brothers, all his sisters, and all those who had been his acquaintances before, came to him and ate food with him in his house; and they consoled him and comforted him for all the adversity that the Lord had brought upon him. Each one gave him a piece of silver and each a ring of gold.

12 Now the Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning; for he had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, one thousand yoke of oxen, and one thousand female donkeys. 13 He also had seven sons and three daughters. 14 And he called the name of the first Jemimah, the name of the second Keziah, and the name of the third Keren-Happuch. 15 In all the land were found no women so beautiful as the daughters of Job; and their father gave them an inheritance among their brothers.

16 After this Job lived one hundred and forty years, and saw his children and grandchildren for four generations. 17 So Job died, old and full of days. [New King James Version]

PS: I apologize for any mispronunciations. I have not heard this portion of scripture read out loud, so I am sure my Americanized pronunciation is lacking. Also I forgot my microphone and my computer audio does not buffer out background noise well. Until next time, be well and blessed Milly.

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