“How Do You Live In the Gray?”
By Dr. Frank Maycock
How do you live when things do not go as you planned…when the things that used to bring you the most joy and contentment are gone…when one struggle seems to lead to another and another and you can’t seem to find a way out… when you want the glass to be at least half full but it looks empty?
For many of us, it seems that before we actually get to these places, we seek after a quick fix…call a friend, call a grandchild, go get hair or nails done, or go get a massage. Or, maybe come to the church and hope that there is a program that will trigger the joy that seems to be dissipating. King Saul had tremendous gray periods. When the gray entered his life (because the Spirit of the Lord had left him), he would call for a young man by the name of David to come and play the harp (1 Samuel 16:14-23). Many today turn to music or something that will simply get our minds away from the gray of life.
In the movie, “Annie”, when things were gray and lonely, Annie would sing, “Oh the sun will come out tomorrow.” She put her hope in the fact that someday, hopefully tomorrow, the sun will come out. But, what happens if the sun doesn’t come out for awhile, and all the tricks you are used to trying in order to kill the gray don’t work?
If you are there, then know this: God has you in a place where He can take you to where you have never been before. He wants you to look to Him more than you have ever looked before. The purpose for this is not to find the answer to the gray, or even to find the sun, but to realize that His plans are not our plans, His ways are not our ways. Listen to what the Psalmist says:
“Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name;
make known among the nations what he has done.
2 Sing to him, sing praise to him;
tell of all his wonderful acts.
3 Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice.
4 Look to the LORD and his strength;
seek his face always.” Psalm 105:1-4
“Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.” The Psalmist is giving us the answer to those gray days of our lives: to look to the Lord, to seek his face. If we look to any other place, we may get the quick fix, the instant high, or that moment of relief. As quickly as it comes though, it will just as quickly disappear. The sun may come out tomorrow, but the next day, will it be gray again? Eventually, yes.
To live in the gray of life, however, is to live for the Lord. To look upon His face, to draw upon His strength, to look for the plans he is making- that’s where the difference lies in our lives. We see this in the life of Abram. When Abram was at one of his darkest moments, a gray period so thick he could not find the answer within himself of who would be his heir (since he was so old and without children), the Lord took him outside and said to him,
5 He took him outside and said,
“Look up at the heavens and count the stars—
if indeed you can count them.”
Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” Gen. 15:5
God wants us to look at Him- only Him- whether it is sunny, gray, or even pitch black. At the darkest moment, if we look to the Lord, He can and will be the source of true light.
Jesus, when dealing with worry, simply said, “Come to Me” (Matthew 11:28). The Lord is the source of light, power, energy, and strength, whether the sun is out or it is the darkest of days. Certainly, He will at times allow us to find solace and rest in the things he has created; but then there are times when nothing will work but God alone. If you are in the gray and nothing has worked for you up to this point, maybe the Lord is wanting you to go deeper in your faith than ever before so that you can develop a life of dependence on Him- Christ alone, It is out of that dependence that we can discover that we no longer need the external “sun” to come out tomorrow, because we have the “Son” in the gray of the day, who will bring joy no matter where we are. Give Him a try; maybe He wants to show you something new this year.
In Christ Alone,
Wonderland Preschool Principle