“How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I take counsel in my soul? and have sorrow in my heart all the day? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me? Consider and answer me, O Lord my God;
Light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death…
But I have trusted in Your steadfast love ; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord because He has dealt bountifully with me.” Psalm 13
Sometimes things light up…and sometimes everything looks grey. What is grey? I guess in simplest terms it is a shade mixed from stark colors of black and white where things make sense on either end of the spectrum, but grey…grey just hangs like a mist over a left-over wintery lake, where shifting ice gives way and warns of danger, yet beauty and life lie undiscovered beneath. Remember, just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean there isn’t life teeming and circling underneath the ever so slowly moving layers of frozen.
Us humans, in our flesh, don’t much care for grey. We have a tendency to become depressed if things remain grey for long. We are bent toward wanting an answer that lights up against our blackest night like burning balls of fire hung by the Stringer of stars in patterns that catch a breath of wonder and glimmer against downcast eyes. Or we want a light so bright and white to illumine our way like the backdrop of ancient scrolls making life-filled words come alive on a page where Love speaks and breathes through Scripture.
There is black where we see white. And there is white where we see black. But grey mixes the two and we sigh…and we slump…and hope is deferred. Is there a purpose for the grey? Is God speaking in the grey? Is the God whose heart is wild with color still speaking in the grey without stark answers? Is hope really deferred, or is the grey a time for hope to build? Is there beauty in the grey? What if there are long seasons of grey where answers are deferred and strength and flesh fail? How do we navigate back to the colors of a holy promise and the colors that reflect off the throne where the Ancient of Days reclines?
May I suggest to you that grey = waiting… and there are many promises given to those who wait upon the Lord:
“They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31.
“No eye has seen, nor ear has heard the things that God has prepared for those who wait for Him.” Isaiah 64:4.
“I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Wait for the Lord! Be strong and let your heart take courage! Wait for the Lord! Psalm 27:13-14.
“The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him!” “Lamentations 3:25.
“Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name. Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in you.” Psalm 33:20-21.
“I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning” Psalm 130:5-6.
All of these Scriptures point to the steadfast love of the Lord and his indescribable goodness in the waiting.
Could the waiting mean that He is preparing something so beautiful and full of wild color that He is going to blow us away with how good He is when the waiting is over?
Are you doing your part in trusting that He is good in the waiting? Are you being strong and courageous going from strength to strength as you press deeper into Him and rest in the unanswered grey season? Is your soul seeking all that He is and all that He commands in obedience in the waiting?
Fire makes grey ashes. It consumes and purifies until there is nothing but soft silky grey. It is suggested that volcanic ash is good for us. If there are health benefits in the material ashes, would you believe there are gifts in the spiritual ashes of trial and suffering? Maybe your grey season is a time to search your heart and ask our God the consuming fire to consume anything that hinders your trust, your allegiance, your hope, your unbridled worship and pursuit of Him. You see the gift of grey may be a merciful outpouring of God’s steadfast, chasing, hounding love for you! Are you still worshiping the God of the grey?
Or your season of grey may be God speaking, “You think you’ve seen the best of me? Oh no, child, my best is yet to come, you have no idea!
You see, if we are truly gazing at the beauty of our God in and through the grey, He will light up our eyes in expectancy of how He plans to move and where He plans to lead us, and what He plans to show us.
Have we gotten it wrong? Are we crying out to a God that seems like He is floating somewhere untouchable and unattainable above the grey? Is it possible we have lost hope in the God who loves to reveal Himself to us through His power and Spirit? Have we forgotten that one of the promises of the Holy Spirit was to bring the comfort of Christ Himself? The love of the Father, Himself? (John 14:26). Don’t leave the Spirit out of the grey. When God promises to work ALL things for good according to those who love Him and He has called to become more like Christ (Romans 8:28), that promise is prefaced by the penetrating power of the Holy Spirit groaning through us in prayer on our behalf for those of us who have lost our words in our season of lingering grey. Our grey has clouded our sight, and hung like lost hope over the dim wicks of our souls….
But something is stirring in the grey….like the ripples of melting water under massive blocks of ice…and when fire burns off the dross… gold coming forth out of the furnace of testing and refining out all impurity….mighty wind separating the chaff from the wheat… This is a WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT and it must be done for power to be perfected in weakness.
He is near. Oh Beloved, Holy Spirit, draw near, remind us who you are. Let wonder roar in the heavens and vibrate through Your Spirit in our hearts and bodies here on earth. May we feel your presence, let loose Your groans, and wait for You to show us what our eyes and ears have yet to behold!