Several months ago, in the midst of what then seemed like the foggiest season of life I’d ever walked through, I stumbled across these words by J. Danson Smith:
Dark is the sky! and veiled the unknown morrow!
Dark is life’s way, for night is not yet o’er;
The longed-for glimpse I may not meanwhile borrow;
But, this I know and trust, He goes before.
Dangers are near! and fears my mind are shaking;
Heart seems to dread what life may hold in store;
But I am His—He knows the way I’m taking,
More blessed even still—He goes before.
Doubts cast their weird, unwelcome shadows o’er me,
Doubts that life’s best—life’s choicest things are o’er;
What but His Word can strengthen, can restore me,
And this blest fact; that still He goes before.
He goes before! Be this my consolation!
He goes before! On this my heart would dwell!
He goes before! This guarantees salvation!
He goes before! And therefore all is well.
I carried those words with me as I went off to Mayo Clinic in June, reminding myself over and over that as uncertain as things seemed, God was going before me! I dwelled on them all summer as we waited to see what scans and labs would show when I returned again to Mayo in the fall.
I was ‘prayed off’ by three of my dearest friends in late September as I prepared to go back – both for more tests but also an anticipated surgery. As two of them prayed over me in my living room that morning, unaware of the words I’d been ruminating on for months, both made mention to God going before me. And as the third dear friend came over – for her to pray me off to Mayo, and for me to pray her off to the new life God had called their family to on the other coast – we reminded one another of the same. He goes before us.
He goes before us…to Mayo, to New York, or to the furthest corners of the world! And even if it didn’t seem like it in the moment, all would be will because He goes before us.
It seems that God often uses the dark and foggy times, knowing if we could see what lay just down the road we might be tempted to not continue ahead. If I had known in May how upended things would become just months later, I have little doubt how much I would have dreaded the future. Instead, having such a foggy season leading up to it, God used that time as a reminder that just as He had been present in all the unknowns then, He would be near again, providing strength step by step. He goes before me still.
So whether the darkness and fog were to clear or life get even murkier, He goes before. And all will be well.