Wonders of God in the Gray
Black and white. We all like when life looks like that. When things go according to plan, it gives us comfort and security. However, I am realizing most of the best things in life are gray: unclear, unfinished, and not yet complete. Though it can be confusing at times, I am beginning to see the beauty in the grayness of “already, but not yet.”
A few years ago, while riding home on a bus I had a cool visible sign of what God’s Grace is like to me. I was heading back to Olivet Nazarene University where I went to school after an incredible weekend of leading worship, For a split moment I was mesmerized as I got a glimpse of the promises of God and the Hope for what is to come in a very real and tangible way.
As I looked out the bus window on that beautiful sunny afternoon, my attention was caught by a reflection from the sun onto a line of skinny clouds. These streak-like clouds made what seemed to be a path and it was at the beginning of that path that two of the clouds were red and blue as the sun’s rays were reflected on them. The colors were profoundly bright and beautiful. The colored clouds were followed in the path by many gray, dull ordinary clouds. Each cloud though separate was followed by one cloud after another forming a trail of clouds. This trail of skinny gray clouds all led to one much larger cloud. In that one split second when my eyes traveled from the two splendid clouds all the way down the gray path to the large cloud, God began teaching me some things that have stayed with me ever since that day.
He showed me the similarity of the gray clouds and the moments and events in the history of my life. I began to understand how I tend to over analyze the ins and outs of every event, or continuously ask God what was the lesson in this or that failure? Suddenly, I began to believe that life is not about getting all the answers or learning all the lessons, but living in the moment. I began to understand that I encounter God in the present. What would happen if I, we, learned to see and appreciate the beauty and wonder that is life itself? I’m curious! I’m alive! Maybe that is all I need to be. Maybe, just maybe, in letting God be God, I can live a life free of spiritual paranoia, and embrace every moment given to me. I live for what is now. I hope for what is to come.
Amazingly, when still on the bus, very quickly the colors were gone. The clouds had shifted, and my view and perspective had changed. Though it is hard not to be able to see things as they fully are from a limited perspective, I am still given glimpses of God’s goodness in what is now, and in what is to come. God is teaching me never to lose my curiosity about Him, about the difficulties I encounter, or about an incredibly blessing He brings my way. For when I lose my wonder, I lose my love! Crazy how God works. “Live in the gray, JD.” Hope, love, trust, enjoy, wait… Then do that all over again. Sounds like a crazy but fun cycle to me.
“For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.” Romans 8:24–25