Well, I did it. I decided to publish my first ever devotional. Full of stories, poems, and encouragement, this 210 page book has hit online bookstores. While writing a devotional is very different from writing a historical fiction book, in the sense that you can’t write in metaphors, your vulnerability is painted through clear black and white words, I must say that the process was still an enjoyable one.
I’m grateful to have shared my heart, but most importantly, this book reflects God’s heart. Purchase the book here. But, until then, here’s a little preview!
Introduction: Another Day of Sun
Have you ever awoken to a sunny morning that puts a big smile on your face, but then the next morning, you are suddenly scrambling through your closet to find the misplaced umbrella that will allow the unexpected storm to be more forgiving than if you embraced the storm without any piece of plastic protecting your head? As you step outside, the fog is terrifically thick and the memory of sun seeping through your skin seems as distant as a childhood memory.
How could it be that just yesterday, with the windows rolled down and the gentle breeze in my hair, I was singing a cheerful tune to It’s Another Day of Sun?(Where are my La La Land fans?) Now, my radio is so melancholic in tune that even the birds have lost their chirp.
This is a metaphor for our lives.
Sometimes, especially with the help of social media, we may get so caught up in the cinematography moments of life, that when the rain comes (and, when it rains, it pours), we have a difficult time understanding how to make sense of suffering.
We have all had to face foggy, cold, dreary mornings of which such mornings like these make us want to throw in the towel on our faith.
There are two definitions for the word fog. Find any Merriam Webster’s Dictionary that might still be lying around your grandparent’s house and you will find these definitions in such a monstrous book.
1. a thick cloud of tiny water droplets suspended in the atmosphere at or near the earth’s surface that obscures or restricts visibility
- something that obscures and confuses a situation or someone’s thought process
Sometimes, and maybe more often than others, fog creeps into our lives and blinds us from where we once stood on a sunny morning. Where we once felt as though we could conquer the world, we now feel that we can barely conquer our own homes. Everything that once seemed certain suddenly becomes uncertain. There is frustration, anger, fear, confusion, an array of emotions that leaves us with more questions than answers.
The fog (the job search, a physical illness, a relationship issue, a family crisis, financial ruin, the list goes on) obscures the mind’s thoughts to where we can’t even think straight.
I am here to say that I have been there, many a time. But, I am also here to say that it is in these moments, on the most foggy of days, that you learn to trust God and develop a foundational faith that no one or any future circumstance will ever be able to take away from you. It is in these moments that you learn that God is both present during the most sorrowful and joyous moments of life.
One of my dearest friends once told me that if we did not go through trials or experience pain, then our faith would be solely theoretical.
It also makes me beg the question, “If not for pain, would we understand true love?”
And can it be that I should gain
An interest in the Savior’s blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain?
For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! how can it be
That Thou, my God, should die for me?
Love is a choice, not a feeling. Our relationship with God isn’t birthed out of passion or an emotional high. It comes from a moment of devout surrender, a moment that chooses to trust God with our lives, our lives which were never our own to begin with. When we come to this realization, we will learn how to trust God with our foggy mornings and sing the words in the psalms that says in Psalm 143:8, “Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.”
There are many days where we may not be able to see the road ahead, but I guarantee that if we learn to trust God with our foggy mornings, it will build a resilient faith within that will allow us never to let go of the hands that bore the greatest pain those many years ago at Calvary.
The problem with the 21st century is that we spend so much time on social media, comparing our lives to one another’s “highlight reels,” when in all actuality, life is not as pretty as our photographs appear to be. Thus, when we face difficult seasons or experience uncertain emotions, the last thing that we should be doing is tuning into social media outlets that try to numb the pain. As we scroll, we become more alone in our season of suffering, the very place that Jesus never intended for us to remain: alone. Our social media accounts will never portray what is truly happening behind the camera lens right now, and that is okay. It is not the platform to pour out life’s “low point-reel.” However, it can be a place to connect with others in like faith to fill our hearts with faith and encouragement.
There are times when we are walking through the fog alone, where we learn to depend on God in a way like never before, and then there are times where others come alongside us during those uncertain seasons. Insert yourself into the strength of a community. Do not run away from it. I know that it can be so tempting to isolate ourselves in our brokenness and our suffering, but God has designed us to live together. Your church family, your community is breathing more life into you and I than we even realize. Fellowship keeps us in one accord, unified as His church to carry out the non-self-centered vision of the church.
And, as we become more connected to one another in these seasons, let us pray for and strive for unity. We must remind ourselves that comparison is a thief of joy and that in this generation, the spirit of comparison is trying to destroy the community of a unified church.
There is not one person who goes unscathed from the pain of this earth. In this, we are not alone. We must remind ourselves that though there are foggy mornings, we all face them, and that furthermore, the fog does not remain forever. It is only for a season, a time in which we learn, grow, and I believe, become even more identified with the suffering of Jesus Christ. The pain and blood of Jesus brought new life to the church. It brought hope that He has overcome the world, a hope that is now a beautiful message to our own individual worlds. As C.S Lewis once said, “If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.”
Everything that was once temporarily highlighted will be gone when we meet our Creator face to face. That is what we are living for: the hope of eternity with God, a kingdom in which all of our problems will seem like a distant childhood memory.
Maybe you are barely holding on to your faith right now or maybe you just need a reminder about what it is to live in true joy in a media-saturated society, I pray that these devotions will provide an extra strength in your walk with God. This devotional is filled with 30 Days of scriptures and encouragement to trust God through the foggy mornings.