Definition of obscure:

  • hard to make out or define
  • not clearly seen or easily understood
  • unclear, uncertain, unknown
  • hazy, vague, indeterminate, concealed, hidden

When traveling, it’s always good to know the destination (that is, if you have plans to get somewhere) and a decent map to show you how to get there. If you’re traveling in a scenic part of the country, it’s even better to be able to see the surrounding countryside.

In life, we often want a similar situation. We make our goals and our plans on how to achieve said goals. We organize our lives with routines and schedules, mostly with the expectation that things will go as we intend.

Except when it doesn’t. Life doesn’t often fall into line like we want it to. Unannounced things happen. Unpredicted events take place. Our false sense of control shatters about us. And what we thought we saw so clearly suddenly become obscured, blocked, hidden from our view.

We took a trip to visit some friends and family in Colorado last year (as is our custom for us to do). Usually, we expect the views to be quite beautiful. We expect the drive from Colorado Springs to Pagosa Springs through the mountains, across the San Luis Valley, and over Wolf Creek Pass to be even more so. However, this particular time it was not.

Smoke from wildfires burning in the west covered the skies in thick haze. So thick, that as we drove, we couldn’t see the mountains, neither the ones far away, not the ones right next to us.

Our friends have a lovely home with a stunning view of Pagosa Peak and we always look forward to the ever changing, living landscape. However, because of the smoke, this is the view we had when we arrived. No sign of any mountains anywhere.

During the course of our visit, some weather moved in and pushed the smoke out. However, because clouds and snow flurries filled the skies, this is the view we had. No sign of any mountains anywhere.

The weather eventually moved through and the skies cleared and oh, what an amazing view we had. The mountains had been here all along. We just couldn’t see them.

Trusting is being confident of what we hope for, convinced about things we do not see.

Hebrews 11:1 (CJB)

How often does worry, sin, ungratefulness, materialism, and so many other things obscure, shroud, conceal our ability to see the splendor and majesty of what God is doing? How often do we walk about in a haze, not knowing or seeing the soaring heights of his love and care around us.

We couldn’t see the mountains. But we knew they were there. Often we can’t see God’s faithfulness in the midst of trials and struggles. But trust is being confident he is there. When the smoky haze disappears, when the weather disperses, when we can see clearly, then we will know what we believed all along, God’s faithful love for us.

In the same way, we can see and understand only a little about God now, as if we were peering at his reflection in a poor mirror; but someday we are going to see him in his completeness, face-to-face. Now all that I know is hazy and blurred, but then I will see everything clearly, just as clearly as God sees into my heart right now.

1 Corinthians 13:12

About Jill English Johnston

God writes His story on every heart, if we only pause to read it. My heart has lived in a fantasy world since early childhood and am delighted that God has finally brought me to the place where I can bring the fantasies to life through story. I am currently working on a fantasy trilogy (of course) but I also post thoughts, reflections and (hopefully) inspiration to my website: tabletsofhumanhearts.wordpress.com I am a follower of the Rabbi Jesus, married to my best friend and inspiration, and the mother of three incredible children, one daughter and two sons, a son-in-love, a daughter-in-love and two adorable granddaughters. When not writing, I passionately pursue prayer, reading (never enough time to read them all!), and the outdoors. My husband and I both served in the US Navy and have lived/travelled through many states and all over Asia. We both still enjoy travelling, but we really love our home in New Braunfels, located at the Texas Hill Country.
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