It's foggy in Victoria this morning.
I'm here for a conference this week, so I'm not sure if it's foggy at home right now.
Fog and clouds have a way of covering everything with a grey gloom and make it seem like the sun is somehow further away. Have you ever taken a flight and had the fascinating experience of taking off in terrible weather and then emerging from the clouds up into the very sunny and beautiful reality reigning above?
Last week we re-entered our journey through the book of Revelation. As we talked about, Revelation 4 & 5 are kind of like putting on a new set of glasses that help us see God and help us see what's really real, behind the scenes.
There is triumph, wonder, and excitement as we behold that in spite of the difficulty that can at times surrounds our lives, there is in fact a throne and God is seated upon it!
For many of us, there is overwhelming hope as we spend time in Revelation 4. And yet, there is a tension that lives between Revelation chapter 4 and Revelation chapter 5.
This is why, for many others, there still are very real questions, concerns, and struggles reconciling realities, even after encountering God in Revelation 4.
What about the present pain and suffering some feel?
What about the things that are not yet healed?
What about the war in Israel?
God, where are you?
I was reading in the Psalms recently and saw how the psalmist struggled with similar laments.
"Why, O Lord, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?"
Psalm 10.1 (what an interesting and opposite contrast to Psalm 46.1)
These, of course, are the very real feelings of the psalmist in distressing time. Lament is the healthy recognition of feelings before God.
It's okay to have very real feelings in the tension between Revelation 4 and Revelation 5.
But, thankfully, we are heading toward the good news of Revelation 5. So many of the real questions about suffering and the gruesomeness of life emerge into even more hopeful clarity in Revelation 5. Will it answer all our questions? No, we will always have questions; trust and faithfulness will always be a choice. But we will find more comfort as God reveals how He presences Himself among us through Revelation 5.
So, if you happened to feel the somberness of the fog in any way today, let us anticipate emerging above the clouds into the beautiful realities that exist. Even when there is fog, clouds, or storm, we can trust that the sun is no further away. It is in fact very much present, beautiful, and illuminating.
I hope you will read Revelation 5 this week.
Let's prepare to behold Jesus together this Sunday!