Saturday, July 16, 2011

Fog and Fire

The other day, heading to the Sacred Valley, the fog was tremendous. Possibly the worst fog I have seen in Peru; we couldn’t see even a few meters ahead.

And “heading to the Sacred Valley” means spending an hour and a half on a crowded bus, at high speeds rounding mountain corners.

Then you add fog into the mix…well, it’s a little scary.

Don’t worry, the story doesn’t have a scary ending that would make my father cringe.

I was just amazed as we descended into the Valley. As we went lower into the Valley—that simply moments before we couldn’t see for the canvas of white completely obscuring the mountains behind—the peaks beyond appeared. All of a sudden, the greenish-brown mountains were revealed, and as we got closer and closer, we could see more and more.

And isn’t life like that? I know, it sounds totally clichĂ©, but we sometimes just can’t see everything. God sees what we cannot see through the fog.

I was reminded today in a video from Francis Chan that God’s thoughts are not our thoughts, and his ways are not our ways.

And sometimes, I just don’t see. I just don’t understand. I believe in a wonderful, just God. I believe he is always good. But I struggle to see it. I struggle to live in the tension of the justice and grace that I am called to live out. I struggle, because I so desperately want to understand; I so desperately want to see into the future. I want to know that things will turn out the way I want them to turn out.

But God’s thoughts are not my thoughts. God’s ways are not my ways.

Isn’t that just so annoying?

I know, there I go demonstrating my humanity. I still have so far to go. But God is faithfully leading me. He holds my hand, he walks beside me. He molds me, and purifies me.

You know, I think there is a reason we have that metaphor in the Bible, of being purified as gold, through fire.

Fire hurts. It burns. And the wounds take a while to heal. But the result is purification. Would anyone want to buy gold that hadn’t been purified first? So it is worth it.

It truly stinks, but it is worth it.

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