Welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. My friend, may I ask you a question today? We look ahead into our lives and see clouds in our path, trouble that seem to arise out of nowhere. We ponder what it holds for us and speculate what might be our fate if we walk into it. But although trouble appears to block our way, will we often that walking through it presents a clearer path than we thought possible?
My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day.
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Since I walk nearly every morning I have the opportunity to walk in many different elements. This time of the year there’s the element of fog. When the air is colder than the ground, which is often the case this time of the year as late summer days have baked the ground to its optimum for the year, low hanging fog may blanket the entire valley. The interesting thing about fog is that from a distance it appears dense, shielding your view of the fields and woods beyond it. Nevertheless, when you actually enter into it your perspective changes considerably. Even though your distant perspective continues to be blocked, objects in the vicinity are most often fairly visible. That’s the odd thing about clouds (and fog is nothing more than a low-hanging cloud); although they may block your distant view, they seldom block that which is closest to you. You can walk in and though them without the aid of a light. In that sense clouds may more foreshadow a menace than they actually contain it. Outside their presence we ponder and speculate. Inside pondering often becomes wonder and speculation confidence.
Often life is like that as well. We look ahead and see clouds in our path, trouble that seem to arise out of nowhere. We ponder what it holds for us and speculate what might be our fate if we walk into it. But although trouble appears to block our way, we often find that walking through it presents a clearer path than we thought possible.
Here’s a story. Somerset Maugham, the English writer, once wrote a story about a janitor at St Peter’s Church in London. One day a young vicar discovered that the janitor was illiterate and fired him. Jobless, the man invested his meager savings in a tiny tobacco shop, where he prospered, bought another, expanded, and ended up with a chain of tobacco stores worth several hundred thousand dollars. One day the man's banker said, “You've done well for an illiterate, but where would you be if you could read and write?” “Well,” replied the man, “I’d be janitor of St. Peter’s Church in Neville Square.” (Bits and Pieces, June 24, 2003, p. 23.)
The Bible when it speaks of clouds often connects these to God and his purposes. In fact the presence of clouds is often an indication that God is near. Is God surrounded by trouble and suffering then? Or, is that how we perceive his providence before we walk into it? Like the fog, God often does present an impediment to our daily walk in this life. We want to see him clearly, but he often seems cloaked in the providence of his will for us, a providence that at first causes us to ponder and speculate about the outcome of entering in. We do not error when we pause as it is natural to do so, but we bring incalculable hardship upon ourselves when we refuse to walk into and through God’s providence. The clouds of his grace can be soothing and the diminished light of his mercy comforting. God’s providence can be strange to us from a distance, but within it he will continue to give us enough light and direction to find our way though. Who knows what is on the other side? One thing for sure though; what we were is necessarily transformed to what God wills us to become.
We pray. Thank you Lord for giving us the opportunity to walk through your providence, however at time threatening and confusing, to the coolness and comfort of your mercy and grace. Lord, we often become fearful of what troubles that seem to arise as clouds before us. Forgive us when we lack the faith to walk into your providence in order to know your grace and mercy. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!
Therefore my friend, Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. This Passing Day. (Matt 6:34)
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