Be sure to read to the bottom of this update to see important announcements, such as the continuation of nightly “10 days of Prayer” meetings, and suspension of indoor children’s Sabbath School. 😦
Anaheim SDA Church
Mid-week Pastor’s Update
January 12th, 2022
“For now we see through a glass darkly, but then face to face” 1st Corinthians 13:12
One morning last week my family and I experienced a strange phenomenon on the way to school. We exited our house to get in the car, with the sun shining on us, and the skies clear. Then, a couple of exits down the freeway, we entered a fog bank, in which all was socked-in and drizzly. Then, a couple exits later, the sun came out again, and we could see blue sky. But as we exited and pulled closer to the school, yep: the dense grayness crowded in again, limiting our ability to see things in the distance.
What we were observing was obviously “patchy fog”, which you’ve no doubt experienced as well. But it was amusing, and led to an interesting discussion with my kids about what fog is and how weather works (I told my kids that the easiest way to think of fog was as “clouds on the ground”).
But then, inevitably, my thoughts turned to spiritual things, and I realized that I, as well as many of you I’m sure, go through periods of “patchy fog” in our spiritual life. We have those times (and praise the Lord for them) when things appear bright, crisp, and clear, and we feel like we can see the ‘goal’ of life in the distance. But then there are other times that those oppressive, drizzly fog banks roll in, and we feel we can hardly navigate for the loss of vision we’re experiencing. While we’re in those times, we may wonder which way we’re to turn for clarity, or whether there is a ‘goal line’ or ‘finish line’ at all.
Praise the Lord, most days, the sun ‘burns through’ the fog, and frequently times of clarity and vision return. Just as we don’t get too distressed about fog in the mornings, being confident that the weather will improve, I hope we don’t get too panicked about times of discouragement or melancholy in our lives. Perhaps we’re feeling a bit like this in the re-worsening pandemic trends currently – but let’s take heart – the numbers will come down again, and the ‘sun will shine’ again soon.
This is a good place to talk about Jesus! “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” John 1:5 Praise the Lord, we have One who came to pierce through the gloom and permanently defeat it! It will never enshroud us if we cling to Jesus. “God is light, in him there is no darkness at all” 1st John 1:5 Praise the Lord, we have a future ahead of us that is pure brightness: no compromise with darkness or lingering shadows. Though we may not always see it with our physical eyes, with our spiritual eyes, let that great vision be always before us. “We walk by faith and not by sight” 2nd Corinthians 5:7. “But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its rays. And you will go out and frolic like well-fed calves.” Micah 4:8
Dear friends, I hope these verses (and many others) can comfort, inspire, and give you confidence through potentially gloomy days. This is a big part of why we need each-other, to mutually encourage each-other in times of discouragement. “Do not neglect meeting together, as many are in the habit of doing, but encourage each other, and all the more as you see the Day approaching” Hebrews 10:25. Let’s be there for each other to ‘hold their hand’ through their dark or gloomy times.
As it so happened on that foggy day last week, the sun broke through, and the rest of the day was lovely and clear (albeit crisp!). May it be so with our spiritual walk as well.
May God bless you and your families the remainder of this week and beyond.
Pr. Mark Tatum