It’s foggy out my kitchen window this morning. The window nearest me faces east, and many mornings I sit and watch the sky change from black to deep indigo to dark blue to fiery red and orange before regular old daylight streams through. Keeping an eye on the sunrise while I have my quiet time is one of my favorite things to do.
But this morning, the sky changed from black to indigo to gray. The trees are fuzzy and indistinct against their nondescript backdrop, and they are perfectly still in the early morning mist. Some mornings are like that. And some mornings bring raindrops rolling down that window; they bring storms and and high wind, dark skies and thunder. Some clear and hot mornings the sky goes from dark to light with no glorious flash of sunrise beauty.
My favorite days are the sunrise days, of course. The days when I glance up and see brilliant orange and pink and golden clouds, when it takes my breath away and I have to stand up and go to the window to get a better look. It always feels like this beautiful reminder that I am not just sitting here, crazy early, scribbling away in a journal– that I am meeting with God and that He is here. Sunrises always feel like a personal gift to me from their Creator– my Creator. He gives this jaw-dropping beauty and the eyes to see that it declares His glory.
But today, with its fuzzy fog making everything out my window drab and nondescript, is not an indication that God is not with me. How foolish would I be to look up at the sky and think that because there is fog, I am here alone. The reality is that God is always near me, whether He chooses to send me an extra hug via the Sunrise Express or not. He is with me when the lightning flashes and the wind whips the trees and I wonder if the power will go out and I get distracted by the romantic idea of having my quiet time by candlelight (until I remember that the coffee pot requires electricity). He is with me when the sky is uniform iron gray and cold with the promise of snow and ice. He is with me regardless of the weather.
All of this feels so basic, so obvious, and yet so many times I live like He’s not near me. I ask Him where He is when He has told me I am with you always, even to the end of the world. I flail about in panic and fear when He has told me that He is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
Friend, there are times when God gives us beautiful skies and sunshine and glorious painted sunrises and clear vision of the path ahead of us. And there are times when He gives us fog, or rain, or the dullness of routine, or skies cracked with lightning and danger. But none of that changes anything, if we belong to Him.
He is with us every single day, asking us to walk by faith, to trust Him to reveal the path a step at a time. He is with us, asking us to take that step of obedience up the cloud-topped mountain, out into the mist-veiled valley, across the howling desert, or over what seems to be an empty precipice. He asks us to hold onto Him– onto hope– and to trust that He is leading us to someplace beautiful, someplace where we will see more than a beautiful sunrise, someplace where we will see the very face of Christ and be transformed.