An early morning in June along the Pacific coast in Oregon is a little different than mid-summer in good ‘ole land locked Missouri. By now, the heat is already stifling and the humidity is beading the on the brow back home, even if I’m in the shade. Here up north on a family vacation, sitting out on the porch, I’m wearing sweats, sweat shirt, Bob’s hat, wrapped in blanket and drinking hot tea.
Does this place actually exist, or am I just dreaming?
They do have humidity, however. It’s in the form of fog, and lots of it. It hangs heavily over the mountains in the distance, and even the near pines are hiding on this particular morning. At least intermittently. I mean, they kind of come and go.
No, that’s not right either. The trees and mountains are stationary; the fog comes and goes. In patches. As the slight, almost imperceptible morning breeze puffs pieces of the white stuff away, and then more of it takes its place at intervals. It actually adds dimension and depth to the landscape, making it more interesting. Challenging, if you want to see what’s all out there at once, I suppose…
“Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.”
It’s that “then” part that I find so dastardly troubling! When it comes to real living:
- Prayers that don’t seem to be heard or answered (the way I want);
- Loved ones that go off the beaten path;
- Personal or past issues I thought were long conquered;
Sometimes I feel like I could use a little less depth and dimension and challenge and would like a little more “could You please just blow away the fog and let me see the whole landscape so I could stop worrying about the next step…!?!”
Besides, just when is “then” anyway??
For that, I have to read the few lines prior (which is why we get in trouble by just learning verses out of context…)
“Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete,…But when the time of perfection comes, these partial things will become useless. When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things.”
So then refers to “the time of perfection”, which is obviously (so very obviously) not now. I also find it interesting that the need to know and understand it all now seems to be referred to as childish, whereas faith, on the other hand, is listed as one the Big Three that will last into eternity:
“Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—…”
Faith, that “evidence of things not seen”, and hope, that Divine surety that goes far beyond mere wishful thinking—both of these allow me to see the trees even when the fog is in the way, because I have experienced seeing them before and therefore expect to see them again.
Which means that, in the meantime, that challenging time between perfect clarity and intermittent haze, I might as well sit back and enjoy the panorama, using my God-given imagination to fill in the pieces I don’t see so well with the Sovereign possibilities, knowing that my infinitely creative Father has options I’m not even aware of. That way, I can better concentrate on the things that I can see, as well as the more important ones that last…
“…and the greatest of these is love.”
1 Corinthians 13:9-13 Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.