Fog

“Morning Fog,” © 2018 Lynn Abbott Studios. Used with Permission.

© 2018 Lynn Abbott

In Southern California, they call it June Gloom.  And if you’ve ever booked a June vacation for the “sunny” beach in San Diego, you’ve probably come away disappointed.

You see, in June, the fog rolls in.  And the coast wears a gray cloak.

It’s a blip in SoCal’s nearly constant sunshine.  But fog in London?  Pretty standard fare.

And so each Autumn as I prepared to teach 19-year-olds the finer points of composition and literature, the fog made its soft entrance.  And the days grew longer.

Understandably, this Southern California raised gal longed for a glimpse of the sun.

But the fog appeared impenetrable…the gloom interminable.

Perhaps, like me, your life at times has paralleled a foggy landscape.  Expectations for sunny days give way to weeping skies and poor visibility.

And the fog rolls in.

This past month marked ten years since my mother died.  She not only was my best friend, but she had also lived with our family for 12 years.

When she died on a quiet– and yes, early June– Sunday afternoon, hazy light caressed the garden flowers that lean against our home’s external, brick and plaster.

Inside, however, a storm raged. I wrapped my arms around her, laid my head on her shoulder, and sobbed.

My son knelt in the doorway of her room. We were shattered. She was gone, and we knew we would not hear her laughter again for a very long time.

It seemed to me, that with her, laughter had died.

And fog settled.

Yet, not long after her death, an intermission from personal tragedy arrived just in time. And through a burst of sunny humor, Abba introduced hope.

Indeed, I distinctly remember the winter day when merriment broke through the heavy blanket of seemingly, interminable gray.  For me, it marked a slow but steady clearing.

In the stillness of that humid, misty afternoon, I collected our mail from our rural box.

As I casually flipped through the stack, a postcard from our local pharmacy arrested my attention. When I saw that it was addressed to my mother, the familiar ache flooded over me.

But much to my surprise, emblazoned on the envelope, were the words: “Carol, we want you back! Here’s $100 in gift cards to prove it.”

My mouth began to twitch. With my index finger, I traced the words, “Carol, we want you back!” And I laughed.

You see, they are NOT the only ones…

I do believe, however, that it will require a more miraculous offer than the $100 gift certificates to persuade Mom to return.

Yup.  Abba used humor to clear some of June’s residual gloom.

Laughter.  That’s right.  My grandmother always used to say that it was good for the soul.

Maybe, you are in desperate need of a little levity in your life as well.  Heartbreak homesteads in your heart:  perhaps, you grieve the death of a dearly loved one.

Or maybe, you grieve the living…separation from or rejection by someone you love.

It might be that you have moved far from your support system.  Or somehow, your support system has somehow let you down.

Maybe, you are in desperate need of a little levity in your life as well.

And suddenly, you stumble in the cold, blinding fog.

June gloom.

Isaac and Abraham probably felt a foggy chill after Sarah died. Isaac, whose name meant “laughter,” likely felt that with his mother’s death, merriment had passed as well.

And as was the case with my mother, there was no getting Sarah back.

She was gone, and Abraham and Isaac were left to cope with their grief.

Sarah’s death, in fact, appears to have been the impetus for Abraham’s decision to arrange a marriage for Isaac, (Genesis 24).

While scripture doesn’t tell us much about Isaac’s relationship with his parents, I suspect he was very close to both of them.

In addition, Isaac had embraced their great faith.

I’m quite convinced of it.

After all, some Bible scholars suggest that Isaac was approximately 30 years old when Abraham faced his greatest test.

Think of that…

It kinda puts the whole command, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love and go… Sacrifice him…” in a different light.

If Isaac were approximately 30 years old, then, Abraham was 130 years old.  Without a doubt, Isaac could have overpowered his father when the time came for the sacrifice.

Apparently, Isaac also trusted Abba to provide to provide the sacrificial lamb.

Even so, great faith does not make one immune to deep heartbreak.  In this world, we all face grief and pain.

The inevitable gloom.

Isaac’s beloved mother had died.

Yet, God’s grace and love burned through that fog.

That’s right.  God not only cares about “daily bread,” but He also provides for His children’s emotional needs.

I do know this.  However,  I frequently forget to run to my heavenly Father with my heart needs.

Instead, I think, “I can handle this.  I simply need to endure.”

And so, I pray for health needs.  I pray for the basics like food and shelter.

After Sarah died, Isaac and Abraham likely experienced fog’s chill.

But when my heart is breaking, I face my pain with stoic determination.

I suspect I’m not the only one who does this.

Yet, God is near to the brokenhearted; He saves them.   He also promises to heal them, (Psalm 34:18 and  147: 3).

In other words, you and I can ask Abba to supply our emotional as well as physical needs.

Simple as that.

And if doubt about Yahweh’s compassion still remains, Isaac’s story clears any remaining uncertainty. Genesis 24 demonstrates that Abba cares about every detail.

Abraham identified Isaac’s need and looked for God’s perfect provision.

After all, God’s covenant included both a promise and call.  Thus, Abraham walked away from paganism and moved to the land that God had promised.

Abraham wished for his son to marry, but  he also understood Isaac’s ultimate destiny.   Isaac had been set apart for God.  Through Isaac would come the promise.

For this reason, God’s choice for Isaac would not lead him away from God or from God’s promises.

And so,  Abraham sent his chief servant on a journey to Mesopotamia to find a wife for Isaac from among Yahweh-following relatives.

In his quest for a bride for Isaac, the chief servant prayed for Yahweh’s wisdom and guidance, “O LORD, God of my master Abraham, give me success today, and show kindness to my master Abraham,” (Genesis 24:12).

Then, he asked God to lead him directly.  Trust in Abba, then, defined the search for Abba’s perfect will.

In other words, you and I can ask Abba to supply our emotional as well as physical needs.

And just as He promises to do for you and me, God honored that prayer (James 1:5).

When beautiful Rebekah came to the well that day, Abraham’s servant asked her for a drink of water.  After she kindly gave him water, she also offered to water the camels.

God answered specifically, (Genesis 24:14).

As the servant spoke with further with Rebekah, he discovered that she was one of Abraham’s relatives.

Finally, when given the choice, Rebekah willingly accepted the marriage proposal.

But it gets better.

Genesis tells us that Isaac went out in the field one evening to meditate.  He likely prayed there regularly.  On that particular evening, he looked up and saw Rebekah’s caravan.

Yes, “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit,” (Psalm 34:18).

Genesis 24 concludes with the following simple summary: “So she became his wife, and he loved her; and Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death,” (Genesis 24:66).

Of course, our heavenly Father is not a celestial vending machine.  Rather, He provides for us in His way and in His perfect time.

Thus, as we wait, we follow Abraham’s example of faith; we trust  Abba to supply even when we cannot see clearly.

We learn to trust in the fog.

Truly, Abba works for our good even when we cannot yet see the outcome.

In our disappointments,  grief,  loneliness or pain, Abba walks with us.

And when the time is right, you and I see His light and love burn through the foggy gloom.

Abba provided for Abraham and Isaac; He has promised to provide for you and me (Philippians 4:19) .

Bruised and broken, we run to Him.  And in childlike faith, we cry, “Abba, Father.”

Fog begins to clear.  And one day, we find ourselves laughing again.

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds,” ~Psalm 147:3

96 thoughts on “Fog

  1. I feel your depth of fog Lynn as I was immersed in that fog in 1986 when my mom died.

    She’s been gone now for 32 years and just this past week mother received a letter (there at Brenton and Abby’s) from a car warranty company informing her that her warranty was expired and they would like for her to renew…she also receives offers for credit cards.
    I just roll my eyes…32 years and they’re still looking for Mom…me too, but I know better.

    The other Sunday when Brenton and Abby had Autumn’s dedication there in the backyard, with about 40 friends and family standing in the sweltering afternoon sun underneath the giant pine tree…I was actually standing by my dear high school friend.

    While the minister was addressing the group gathered, I noticed a tiger swallowtail butterfly suddenly skittering through the group, flittering over toward Brenton, Abby and Autumn before flying on.
    I leaned over and whispered to my friend about the sudden arrival of this unintended flying guest when my friend, in turn, responds “that was MaryAnn”…
    Maryann being my mom.

    They’re never really far away from us are they, Lynn?
    And that’s a good thing, my friend…
    Hugs from Georgia

    Liked by 3 people

    • Oh, Julie… I’m laughing with you! Isn’t it funny how the mail for our moms just keeps coming?!?! And what a beautiful thought your friend had. Yes, I’m sure our moms catch glimpses of our lives in heaven. Sometimes, I wish I could tell her things …just for my own selfish sake. But I know she knows. And yes, that’s a very good thing, dear Julie! I’m so glad God introduced us! You always just “get” stuff. What a true gift your friendship is! ❤ and huge hugs!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Ahhh, what a sweet post! You are so right about that June fog and the fog of grief, too. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted, indeed. I love how He sent you that postcard, at just the right time! He really does know just what we need. “A merry heart is good medicine.”

    I also really like how Isaac was “comforted after his mothers death.” I never really saw that in scripture before, but it’s a good point. I bet Rebekah brought the laughter back to that house. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Amen-Amein Sister in Christ-Messiah Jesus-Yeshua Lynn!! ❤
    You’re Very Welcome my Sweet Sister in Christ-Messiah Jesus-Yeshua Kathleen!!

    MAY OUR ONE TRUE GOD the HEAVENLY FATHER who art in HEAVEN ABOVE BLESS ALL my Sisters and Brothers in Christ-Messiah Jesus-Yeshua and Your Families and Friends!!

    Happy Birthday USA to our Judeo-Christian Nation USA 1776-2018!!

    Love ❤ Always and Shalom ( Peace ), YSIC \o/

    Kristi Ann

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dear Lynn, I am impressed with your paintings, but especially today… I can’t believe that you can paint a beautiful view covered with fog. I was waiting for your paint fog to go away so that I can see the houses clearer… God bless you woman of God, artist and beauty maker… Recently I discovered that my thyroid hormones were low and I experienced what is called ‘brain fog’. There was an unwelcome blanket over my mind that made it hard for me to ‘think’… I prayed and took some medication… I am well now but I identify with your feelings of anxiety, hopelessness and anger when the fog comes down… But we can look at this is another way, a brighter way… before rain came on earth, God used fog to water the ground… “But a mist used to rise from the earth and water the whole surface of the ground” (Gen 2:6). This is like an upside down miracle of blessing the earth. If you are like me, I do not like upside down things, even if they are good, and even if they are a miraculous blessing. I want the rain to come from the sky, water the earth and quickly go away. I do not like this mysterious midst that speaks thru silence and covers my vision like with dust. This midst is a reminder that God (and not me) is in control of this earth and He can bless it any way He likes it. This morning, as I am reminded of the greatness of the God who has no rival, I bow at His feet and worship… During fog time, rain or sunshine, I worship Him who reveals Himself to whom He wants and who withdraws Himself at times…that we may long for Him, for His smile and the ever fresh Living Word…

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you with all my heart, dear Lia!! And let me add that I’m sorry that you had to experience thyroid difficulties! But I’m so very thankful that God provided and has made you well. I praise Him for that! And what a beautiful thought about God turning things upside down. Amen! He does do that in so many ways… He turns mourning into dancing… He makes the last first and the first last… What a wonderful Savior! Thank you for your beautiful words here! You continually lift our hearts in praise to our heavenly Father! ❤ ❤ and hugs!!

      Liked by 2 people

      • I love it that the Holy Spirit brought us together… Can you imagine that? It has to be God! “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing” (1Thess 5:11)

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  5. This is beautiful, Lynn—the pictures and the words. I am well-acquainted with June gloom, having grown up in So Cal. I am also well-acquainted with long periods of figurative fog. As you rightly say, “when the time is right we see [God’s] light and love burn through the foggy gloom.”

    I needed this reminder today, S I’ve been dealing with patchy fog for a long time. Thank you for the reminder to trust.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, Elihu… I didn’t realize you were a SoCal girl, too! I haven’t lived there in many years, but I grew up there as well! Love that we share that in common! Patchy fog… I’m so sorry. I’ve been there…and it comes and goes for me as well. Thank you for sharing that. You are truly an encouragement to me! ❤ and hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

      • It’s definitely cool to share that in common! I live in West Texas now—God led me in a dramatically different direction. He always knows best, and that is a sustaining comfort. You encourage me as well. I always love reading your posts and enjoying your lovely artwork.

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      • Texas is wonderful, Elihu! What a blessing to live there! And you are still close enough to California that you can visit. 🙂 Thank you for your kind words about my posts and art! I am so blessed to have met you here online! God bless you greatly as you use your tremendous writing talent for Him!! ❤ ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Lynn, sitting here as the sun comes up, sharing my coffee with you and surprised by the sudden flood of tears at I reach the end of this post. Sometimes we don’t even realize the fog has settled, so “determined” are we to manage our emotions. Thank you for the lovely visit. I guess I have a little unpacking to do… love, Deb

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dearest Deb… you and I were extremely privileged to have close relationships with our parents…the down side of that is that we will probably never stop missing them on this side of eternity. You know. You totally get it. I’ve found myself missing Mom and Dad a lot recently. Much love and huge hugs to you, my dear friend!! ❤ ❤

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  7. Lynn, this is so beautiful. I love how you likened fog to grief. Often it does seem that sadness and grief can be like fog. Fog’s thick clouds may block the sun, and grief may block our laughter, but we know the sun is still shining. In our grief we know our Lord is closer yet and still there. Thank you for this story.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Exactly, dear Laurette!! You are so right: our Savior still shines even when we can see Him because we are walking through the fog of grief and sorrow. Thank you for your wise and thoughtful comment! God bless you greatly! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I loved what you said about great faith doesn’t mean that there isn’t heartbreak! When we are broken we are beautiful…….if our hearts break it does mean we have loved MUCH! I miss my Mom as well after 39 years of her being gone. May GOD give you the peace and comfort for your tender heart. Blessings friend.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Oh, that post was such a blessing Lynn ❤
    I hadn’t really thought so much about how Abraham and Isaac felt after Sarah died. I suppose they were heartbroken.
    I always love your posts! And that painting is breathtaking as always.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Oh yes, I do face trials with a bit of “stoic determination” like you wrote. I’ve been walking through fog for 3 years now but thankful for the One who walks beside me. He has been so faithful and merciful towards me in the valley for which I’m truly grateful.

    You write so beautifully about your mama and my heart aches for you. Thank you for sharing your deepest hurts so that we can all be encouraged by your faith and by pointing us to Him. Hugs🤗

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so sorry that you have had to face the fog, dear Vivian! But you are so very right about our not walking alone! I’m so grateful as well! Thank you for your kind and caring words! Your encouragement means a lot to me! God bless you big time! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Romans 8:28 New International Version (NIV)
    28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose.
    * * * * * *
    Even in the densest fog.
    Loved the message, Lynn, puctuated by your lovely paintings.

    ….:)

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  12. Your description of San Diego Fog bought back a lot of memories of younger days in life when I was in the Marines. I can’t imagine how horrible it must have felt to lose your mother especially if she’s your best friend!

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  13. Lynn, Thank you so much! I cried through the whole thing. It deeply spoke to my heart in my “fog.” This spoke to me, in particular:

    “Even so, great faith does not make one immune to deep heartbreak. In this world, we all face grief and pain.”

    I must say “Amen” to that one. But, thank you so much for sharing all the promises of God you shared and all the many encouraging words you shared, for they touched my heart today right where I am.

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  14. Lynn, blessings as you continue to share how the Lord walks with you and works through you. Emmanuel, God with us, through the storms, in the fog, always leading us home to be with Him and our loved ones. What a day that will be!

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  15. A thought-provoking painting of the fog scene. It gives a nostalgic feeling. It painted your heart of remembrance of your mom. Even though it has been ten years, she is always in your heart and your mind. We don’t know how we could endure grief and pain except we know that He is faithful. Your message is so precious to remind us that He is always there to be our comfort and our guide. Thank you for sharing, Lynn. Blessings to you! ❤ ❤

    Like

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