This song has been in my head the last few weeks, “When I was under you lifted me. When I was sad you encouraged me. When I was lost an don’t know where to turn, out of the mist I see Your hand.”
This last part has particularly tagged at my heart, ‘out of the mist I see Your Hand. If you have been in the mist, that foggy place; or if you have ever been in a point of darkness, that point where you absolutely are surrounded by no light; then you know that a continued state of darkness or mist results in us adjusting to the surrounding. I think it is a human survival instinct, if you are in a place for long enough, you adjust your life and eyesight to suit the new condition, that is the only way to survive.
At the end of last year, these verses were in my heart. This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: “Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.”
The Israelites had been in exile for a while now, yet the message the Lord gives these people in great turmoil is not that I will rescue you tomorrow, or any other response that would leave them with a warm fuzzy feeling, the response He gives them instead is go plant gardens, go marry, go build houses. In short, go about business as normal. And these verses were in my heart at the end of last year over some issues I felt I had out-prayed myself over. I felt it was time to adjust to the darkness, learn to grope in the darkness and go about business as normal.
So when in the last few weeks I have seen the hand of God over some of these issues, this song has truly reflected what I feel; out of the mist, out of the hopelessness, I see Your Hand. And yet I am learning that I must still accept His offer for help.
I had adjusted
You see, that I had learnt to live in exile, that I was getting used to living in darkness, is turning out to be my newest challenge. Yep, the strangest of challenges. You’d think this would a yipee moment , yet the same protective and survival measures I had so carefully put in place, are fast becoming my stumbling block. I am realizing that eventually God did get the Israelites out of exile, but I bet there were some who were left behind because they had gotten used to the exile and refused to leave. Afterall even in Egypt some still Israelites still remained behind.
The story of the blind guy of Bartimaeus comes to mind. This guy has been blind for the longest time. And so when Jesus comes to His rescue, He asks him a strange question. What do you want me to do for you? My first reaction to that question is this is a daaa question, it has to be obvious to anyone what a blind man rushing up to the Lord might want. Yet I realize, sometimes, when we have been in darkness for long, the Lord still asks the same thing, what do you want me to do for you; lest, we have adjusted to the pity party that comes with the darkness and we do not receive the healing the Lord offers.
I am realizing that much as I excited about this Hand in the midst of the mist, I need to accept His helping hand.
He never gives up on me….
But this Lord is amazing, what still amazes me, what tags at my heart is that He never gives up on us. If when I had given up and adjusted to the darkness around me He was still at work, if He can still find a way of extending a helping Hand in the midst of the mist, then I am in the safest Hands. This God is amazing. This God never gives up on us. This God must truly love us.
You may be in the midst of your mist, you may have lost all hope, you may even feel like God must have forgotten you, your days in exile may seem never ending. Hang in there. God will NEVER leaves you nor forsakes you. He will come through for you too. He will work it out for your good. Hope in Him. Trust in Him. One of this days, out of the mist you will see His hand guiding you, holding you. He is that God. Hold onto Him.