Thought: Overcoming Spiritual Fog
Story: If Only
Homeschool Tip: The Same Everywhere
Hymn/Poem: Seek Him
I never like driving in rainstorms, but this particular rainstorm seemed worse than usual. Being in an unfamiliar area probably didn’t help. Neither did the fog that kept creeping up over my windows. I tried everything to get rid of the fog. But neither hot air nor cold air seemed to disperse it. It kept growing, threatening to block my visibility entirely. I began to panic and felt like pulling over and stopping. Just when I felt on the verge of despair, the rain suddenly ceased. The sun peeked out from behind the clouds. Within seconds of being touched by the sun’s streaming rays, the fog on my windshield completely disappeared.
Much like the fog settled over my windshield, sometimes a spiritual fog settles over our hearts. The fogs of discouragement, pride, or depression slowly creep into our hearts, threatening to block our spiritual visibility entirely. All our efforts to disperse the fog seem useless. We find ourselves feeling unable to do anything. Soon we can hardly pray, and desire nothing more than to “pull over” into the nearest couch and indulge in a little self-pity.
If you feel discouragement or depression creeping in like a thick fog, you don’t have to let it settle over your heart. The Bible’s key to overcoming these spiritual fogs is simple—seek God.
Much like fog disappears in the presence of the sun, spiritual fog disappears when we take our eyes off our circumstances and ourselves and focus them on the Son. We simply need to seek God with all our heart, and He promises that we will find Him. His rays will disperse the fog and replace them with the light of His presence.
“‘You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’ declares the LORD.” Jeremiah 29:13-14a NIV
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Andrew Hunter looked forlornly out the window at the backyard where his brothers and sisters were merrily playing. “If only there were a pond out back,” he thought to himself, “then I would play outside with everyone else. But it is too hot to play outside without a pond to jump in afterwards.” Andrew could almost feel the refreshing cool sensation of diving into a pond. He could imagine how much fun he would have swimming every day. But while there was plenty of room outback for a pond, there was no pond. If only…
Andrew’s wish had finally come true. They were getting a pond! He felt like jumping for joy. Now, at last, he could enjoy playing outside. He would never be unhappy again--or so he thought.
“Andrew, why do you look so miserable?” Andrew’s mother asked with concern.
Andrew sighed. “There are too many mosquitoes to play outside,” he moaned. “They love that silly pond. If only we didn’t have that pond!”
Mrs. Hunter stopped and stared at her son. “Andrew Hunter,” she exclaimed, “you wanted that pond!”
Andrew sighed. “I know,” he mumbled.
“It didn’t bring you the happiness you thought, did it?”
Andrew shook his head.
“Things never do,” Mrs. Hunter stated. “If there were no pond out there, you still wouldn’t be happy, now would you?”
Andrew thought for moment. “No, I guess not. But if only--”
“If only nothing! You’re seeking happiness in all the wrong places, Andrew. Only God can bring you true joy and contentment.”
“Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare…Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while He is near.” Isaiah 55:1,2,6 NIV
Everything looked strangely different. The narrow streets, the tall, narrow buildings, the square cars, the foreign signs, the Hungarian lady next to me—everything around me reminded me that I was in a different country. I was in Budapest, Hungary, assisting Sandra Lovelace (www.lifeworkforum.org) as she represented homeschooling at a missionary education conference.
Throughout the week, I saw many new and different things. I learned that life abroad differs in many aspects from life in the US. I also discovered that homeschoolers abroad face many different challenges than we do in the states. For one thing, they have a much harder time obtaining resources than we do. After all, we have come to take English libraries, homeschooling catalogues, and curriculum fairs for granted, things many homeschoolers abroad can only long to see one day. Most homeschoolers abroad also have to combat hostile opinions of homeschooling, while some live in constant fear that their liberty will be taken away.
Yet it struck me all week that homeschooling on both sides of the ocean is really very much the same. True, we might face different obstacles and situations. A homeschooling mom in a remote country of Europe might struggle with a feeling of isolation and abandon, while a mom in a bustling US metropolitan might struggle to juggle a thousand groups and activities. Yet both struggles, though very different, are, in a way, very much the same. They are both obstacles designed to draw us closer to God if we will let them. God can use isolation to make us cling to Him as our strength, life, and hope, while on the other hand, God can use a busy schedule to teach us to let Him carry our burdens and to be still before Him despite the tumult around us. God’s principles, love, and faithfulness remain the same everywhere—for all people in all times and places.
The purpose of homeschooling also remains the same no matter where we live. The goal of homeschooling, to introduce children to God and bring them up in Him, does not change.
And best of all, God doesn’t change. He is the sure rock we can lean on, whether we face the snowy landscape of Siberia or the basking heat of an Arizona summer.
So no matter where you are or what you are struggling with today, rest assured that God has the strength you need. He can use everything to strengthen and draw you closer to Him. His principles never change. The God who parted the Red Sea is your God too. The God who saved you is same God who stands ready to offer you His strength today. No circumstance is too hard for Him. Rather than letting your circumstances overwhelm you, let God use the circumstances around you right now to show you His incredible might and faithfulness.
“Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.” Psalm 62:8 NIV
Thou shalt seek the Lord
And find Him too
If you seek Him with all your heart--
So seek him in all you do.
Seek Him in the heartaches
And in the joyful times as well.
Seek Him as a humble beggar,
For of His greatness, who can tell?
Seek Him in the morning,
And in the noontime heat.
Seek Him as a treasure--
As your daily bread and meat.
Seek His wisdom and His strength,
But above all seek His very face.
Seek to know Him daily,
And of His goodness to continually taste.
And as you seek Him, rest assured,
God Himself is seeking you.
He longs for you to know Him,
And to His Word He will be faithful and true.
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Unless otherwise indicated, articles
are written by Katherine Loop, © 2005. Scripture
taken from the NIV Bible. Feel free to
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