Amidst the Mist

A chilly winter morning, the cold air caused the dense fog to hug the ground. As it enveloped the Cross-Dubya, God reminded me of an important faith lesson. Faith believes, even when you can’t see. Pouring another cup of coffee as the day emerges, I make it a point to stand at the windows and do a count. With a small herd pastured within yards of our home, it’s usually easy to count cow butts and ensure everyone is where they belong. Other mornings, like this one, it’s impossible.

Even stepping out the back door and standing next to my chain link fence, I was unable to see the pasture fencing. I could hear gentle lowing from within the mist, but I had no chance of getting an accurate headcount. As I geared up for morning feedings, I resigned myself to having to wait until they were all gathered together to get my count. With the sound of the garage door raising, my faithful donkey friends alerted everyone that breakfast was about to be served.

As “Magic” and “Elpis” brayed their morning greeting, I smiled as the cattle began calling out before I could even get to the workshop door. They were already making their way to the feedlot or bunk feeders in the other two pastures. Bubba the chocolate lab climbed up on the bench seat of our UTV, and Bandit the cat came down from her loft and sat atop the feed sacks. Awaiting her daily ministrations, I hold her to my chest and begin stroking her head and ears, her soft purring breaks the workshop’s silence.

Filling the buckets with feed and minerals, the cattle slowly move into position. With a turn of the key, the UTV starts and is soon muffled by the sounds of the cattle calling out their invitation. Even though my moo cows can’t see me, they sense my presence. Their excitement builds as they anticipate my arrival. I think of how they’ve learned to trust and depend upon me to care for them.

As I’m driving to my first of several stops during my morning ritual, a fleeting thought passes through my mind.

“For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face.
Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also
am known.”
(1 Corinthians 13:12, NKJV)

I wonder, do I sense God’s presence even when I can’t see Him? Do I trust and depend upon Him to always care for and protect me? If I’m honest, there were times in my life when I treated God as if He were a genie in a bottle. I’d uncork Him when I needed Him, but until that time, I sat Him on a shelf and went about my life. Maybe that was the problem. I didn’t understand that my life was no longer mine; it now belonged to God. Oh, I would take Him off the shelf and invite Him to ride along with me to church on Sunday morning. After all, I had to appear righteous didn’t I?

How do you store God; in your heart, or on a shelf until you need Him? Click To Tweet

It’s been many years since I had a one-way relationship with God. For that, I’m so very grateful. As I continue to grow in my knowledge of Christ and the life He wants me to live, my faith in Him grows. I’m finding that my faith has become far less dependent upon what He does, but in who He is. A trusting dependence in Him has replaced my what have You done for me lately attitude that indicated a transactional relationship. Like my cattle in the dense fog, I can’t fully know what God is doing or what He has planned. By faith, I know that wherever my journey ends, it will be more glorious than I can even imagine.

As Christians, we can’t always see or understand what God is doing in our lives. We can trust that He is helping us to work out our faith and grow into what He has planned for us. I’m learning that what my future holds is not nearly as important as who is holding it. I pray you too learn to trust God in the midst of your journey in faith.

God’s blessings,

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58 thoughts on “Amidst the Mist

  1. J.D., such a good and needed post this morning. You reminded me of the words of Corrie Ten Boom, “”Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.” Knowing Him and having His Presence with me each day brings such peace to my heart. “I’m learning that what my future holds is not nearly as important as who is holding it. ” Amen!

    1. Thank you Ms. Joanne. Recent events have caused me to take a closer look at my faith walk, to see just how far I’ve come. What a blessed journey it has been so far. I thought of Ms. Corrie’s quote while writing too. 🙂

  2. Awe ❤️ I really love this post, JD!

    God sure shows Himself to you through taking care of your ranch!

    Thanks for the lovely reminders!

    1. He sure does Ms. Melinda. I refer to the Cross-Dubya as “God’s classroom.” While I’ve been learning, and hopefully growing in my faith, for many years, it seems like I’ve been attending a graduate-level class since moving here. Other times, I feel like I’m still in pre-school. Faith is so humbling isn’t it my friend? God’s blessings ma’am.

  3. “ I’m finding that my faith has become far less dependent upon what He does, but in who He is. “ For me, this is the key to faith. The more I come to know Him, the more I understand that His intentions toward me are always good. That is where faith lies…in trusting His heart for me. Thank you for these encouraging words.

    1. YES! YES! YES! I feel exactly the same way ma’am. The closer I get to Him, the more He shows me just how much He loves me. I know I’m not worthy of His love, but His Son is, and that’s what He wants to grow in us. I pray daily that God seems more of Him and less than me in this life. Praying many more great discoveries in your walk also Ms. Terri.

  4. Thank you for the blessing experienced while reading your post, J.D.

    Indeed, trusting comes with experience and it is hard to rush into trusting God. Still, He is always present and ready to demonstrate the legitimacy of trusting Him.

    I am forever grateful for your perspectives and plan on stopping by early one morning to enjoy the influence of Mavrik and his herd.

    1. Aww shucks Mr. Warren. I sure hope you can sir. I know we’re a bit out of your way, but the coffee or tea is always hot, and Mavric is always ready to welcome a new friend; especially one that brings him a treat. 🙂 Yes, I keep a supply of them. Have a great day sir; and please be safe in your travels. God’s blessings.

  5. I love how you help me picture your ranch in my mind. But, I love the lessons you share even more. I agree with you on how my faith has changed through the years. So many people still try to keep God as a genie in a bottle. They are missing out of the beauty of a deep, satisfying relationship with our Heavenly Father. Thanks for sharing JD.

    1. Awww … Thank you Ms. Yvonne. I hope your virtual visit always brings you the peace and joy I feel when I’m around. Am looking out my den window at “The Maternity Ward” (the northeast pasture) and all the mamas and two babies are all resting together. Such a peaceful sight ma’am. The calves are curled up close to their mamas; and the other cows form a circle around them to form a wind break to ensure they stay warm. Although today is sunny and near 60F, so I think everyone is lazily dreaming the afternoon away.

  6. I love the picture from both perspectives, J.D., but I like thinking about the cows making their expectations known about you showing up before they could see you. Their trust was evident before the feed showed up. I’d really like that kind of attitude to characterize my relationship with the One who feeds and cares for me. I’d like my trust to be on display before the provision ever shows up instead of wrestling with my doubts and fears and questioning what I’ll do if it doesn’t come. The other piece I love is your comment about loving who God is rather than what He does. I’ve noticed the same kind of maturing in the love that Diane and I share. I love her much more for who she is (aside from her poor taste in men) than for the many things she does to make my life better. All in all, another uplifting, faith building feast this morning, my friend–praying for God’s healing grace and His continued blessing on all you do.

    1. Yessir! Don’t you ever say, “Okay Lord, I need your protection on this trip or help delivering this lesson?” I sure do. I think that’s much like my cows moving to the feedlot in advance of me. By faith, we know that God will meet our needs, if it’s in His will. Perhaps we trust more than we realize my friend. Sure hope you’re feeling better sir. And as for your Diane; I’m pretty sure yours and mine are sister because I say the very same about mine. Intelligent, beautiful, funny, but not much in the “man choosing” department. 😀 Am so grateful for your kind comments and ever-present encouragement sir. God’s blessings.

  7. To echo Ron, “trust before the feed shows up.”

    Ah, that must be the secret to serenity. And all of this brings one more thought to mind–that before we call, God is already answering. Such a wealth of perspectives from one wee posting–thank you J.D.

    1. You are most welcome Ms. Candyce. Glad you remembered to bring your muck boots! 🙂 It is indeed an honor to be traveling this narrow path with so many great brothers and sisters in Christ, like you ma’am. God’s blessings.

  8. A wonderful, inspiring, and encouraging message. Thank you J.D. Even though we may not see what God is doing in our life, we can rest in His promises and know His plan is at work. Have a glorious day!

    1. You too Ms. Melissa. Sometimes it can be a “challenge” to trust what we can’t see, or sometimes understand, but I think these times when we need to rely on our faith more than our physical senses, is God’s way of helping us strengthen our “faith muscles.” Thank you so much for commenting ma’am. Always such sage advice. You must be a “mimi.”

  9. Such a wonderful message! It is so good to trust in God, who holds my future in His hands!

    Blessings to you and Miss Diane.

  10. Always love “visiting” your ranch. As I now live in Idaho instead of the city in Southern California, I love to pass the ranches and farms here. I wonder if animals are aware or affected by weather. Does fog bother them when they can’t see? I’m in dense fog right now in my life and the sun is a vague looking blob of light high above me. Past difficulties have taught me not being able to see through the fog doesn’t mean the sun isn’t there. I’m confident the Son is in full view of His work in my life. Praise God. I’m like the moo cow sensing your presence.

    1. I believe they (the animals) are affected by the weather ma’am. I think they assume a heightened sense of awareness as they definitely make more noise, as though they’re constantly checking in with one another. I notice too that during sunny days, my donkeys will stand guard on the high ground and only move around a few places during the day. When the weather is bad and visibility is poor, they walk the fence lines much more. Sort of makes me think of “conversational prayer” and how we need to remain in constant contact with heaven when things seem scary. Still praying my friends.

  11. Always rich words on your posts. Today I taught on Ephesians and as always I get the most out of studying. Today it fit with your post-and seeing so many references to Him, His, in Him. That’s where it rests – His Word and character not what I see or what is happening to me. It’s not a one time achievement but an ongoing process and journey-always new ways to trust Him.

    1. Right there with you ma’am. I’m preparing to lead a small group study at our church next month, and am re-reading and studying even deeper to prepare myself better. Oh, to become more like Him ma’am. A worthy goal indeed. God’s blessings sweet friend.

    1. Anytime Ms. Dottie. In its own way, I like to think it’s as peaceful as your beautiful gardens ma’am. Thank you so much for visiting today. Always a blessing. Stil praying for your back ma’am.

  12. When I was a teenager my brother fed our cows (Hereford/Angus crosses). When he started the tractor, the cows started lowing and it turned to bellowing before my brother gathered the various types of feed the cows were to receive. My friend, I can also remember a time when I had a one-sided relationship with my Father. I’m so glad He didn’t give up on me. Thank you for your inspiring message.

    1. Yes ma’am. I just knew you would relate to this my farming friend. I’m betting “Peaches” gets pretty excited when she sees you heading for her stall with a bucket in hand too. Great memories for sure ma’am. And I suspect a great many of us are so grateful God never gave up on us. I know I sure am also. God’s blessings Ms. Katherine; and remember they get an extra handful of oats from Mr. J.D. 🙂

  13. We are trapped in the “fog” of this present life that prevents us from seeing everything. That’s where our faith comes in. Faith in God is the mirror that shows us His character and how He is always on our side. Thanks for sharing this insightful post, J.D. Blessings friend!

    1. So very true Ms. Barb. And you are exactly right ma’am. We must be able to depend and stand upon our faith if we have any chance of making it to the end of this race called human life my friend. Well said ma’am!

    1. Absolutely Ms. Karen. As God is absolute in all things, He is truth; and it is His truths that we must be able to stand upon as our firm foundation. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom and insight with us here ma’am. God’s blessings.

  14. Thank you for another wonderfully encouraging post, my friend.
    When I read the passage from 1 Corinthians I suddenly had tears well up in my eyes. I needed to stop an figure out why.
    How amazing it is to have a God who knows and holds our future. Glory to His name!

    1. Amen sweet friend. As you have probably heard me say on occasion, “I don’t know what I don’t know.” THAT, my friend, is where our faith comes in. It is by faith and in faith that we trust God and His sovereignty to know and guide us through what we can’t know. His ways are not our ways ma’am (Isaiah 55:8-9), but we know He uses all for our ultimate good. God’s blessings ma’am.

    1. Right there with you in that question Ms. LuAnn. I thank God each day for choosing to sustain me until He could guide me to the path He determined for my life before I was born. I sure didn’t make it easy on Him. It’s that “needing God” that defines the relationship He wants us to have with Him. When God becomes as important to us as the air we breathe, then He has the opportunity to mold us into what He has always wanted us to be.

  15. What a comforting post, JD. My favorite line is this: “I’m finding that my faith has become far less dependent upon what He does, but in who He is.”

    Last year felt like a fog as I battled stage 4 ovarian cancer, but I knew God was with me. I’m grateful for His ever-present help and friends like you.

    1. Yes ma’am. I’m with you in that “foggy” part Ms. Beckie. I trust you know already how your faith journey has blessed so many others. God’s blessings; and still praying because we know our journey isn’t over yet my friend.

  16. You gave us such a good picture of that chilly morning in the fog and its lessons for trusting God is there even when we can’t see Him, and being as anxious as your moo cows to meet with Him ! Thanks so much for enlightening my morning, J. D.

    1. Yes ma’am Ms. Kathy. I pray I long to spend time with God at least as much as my animals do me. I wonder sometimes if it’s only because I am gentle with them and often bring them food and water that they respond so well. It might be, but then again, Christ told us He was the bread of life and He would send Living Water into our lives with the Holy Spirit. 🙂 Oh, how I join you in praying that my calling out to God elicits the same smiles my animals do from me when the call for me in the midst of the night and fog. God’s blessings gentle friend.

  17. You have a beautiful way of painting imagery with your words. I imagined the fog and every detail as you described each aspect. It isn’t always easy to trust God when we can’t see Him. I’ve come to trust that He is always working behing the scenes on my behalf.

    1. Thank you for your kind words Ms. Karen. It sure is Ms. Karen. I think of the old saying, “Out of sight, out of mind”, and it reminds me of the importance of keeping God close to me throughout the day. We do that by keeping our prayers going throughout the day and sharing our day (the good and bad moments) with Him. I think He wants that kind of relationship with us. God’s blessings sweet friend. Loved your post this week, it’s in the valleys we grow my friend.

    1. Ditto Ms. Tammy. Every day my friend. This “waiting” is difficult, but I am steadied upon the arms of so many brothers and sisters in Christ who are lifting me up. Like my post this week, I’m not sure what’s out there in my future, but I know in who’s hands my future is held; and where it ends. In that knowledge, I am secure. God’s blessings my sweet and precious little sister in Christ.

  18. J.D., when I moved to Southern California, smog kept me from seeing the mountains that I kept hearing about. One day the smog lifted and I could see snow capped mountains from my window! After the smog returned, I never doubted the closeness of the mountains. Your post reminded me of that experience. As your cattle demonstrated, our past experiences with our Provider carry us through the times we can’t see Him.

  19. Faith, as we know, is both a verb and a noun. Acting on it, believing in it, living with it are all part of the Christian experience. Peace is found in proportion to the faith we exercise. Sounds like God has granted you a nice heaping helping. PTL! In your line of work and with your health concerns, I am grateful your faith sustains you. That is a noble accomplishment and no easy feat. But then, another challenge comes our way, doesn’t it, forcing our faith to grow another inch.

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