This post was originally written January 2011.
One of my favorite books to read to my son when he was a baby was Dr. Seuss, “My Many Colored Days.” It’s a simple book that looks at colors and moods. Our copy didn’t survive three children; it was well loved and worn.
The pages that struck me the most where these: “Grey day, I look, but nothing moves today.” It had a grey owl. Amidst all these vibrant colors– there was a grey day.
I’ve had many “grey” days lately as I’ve struggled with depression and just the chronic nature of my life circumstances. Winter doesn’t help either does it? Without the sun shining much, many days truly are grey.
But as much as we like color, don’t we often wish that life were more black and white? We can read Scripture and find some clear indications on how we should live. .. but then there are the grey areas where Scripture is not so clear and doesn’t speak to an issue.
Should we move to this house?
Should we accept this job offer?
Do we continue that relationship with a toxic person?
Which diet or exercise plan do we embark on?
Should we go on an anti-depressant or gut it out?
Is this the best church for our family to attend?
How about this: Do I have grounds for divorce? How far do we have to submit to our husbands? How do we love someone who is abusive to us? Where is the line between healthy boundaries and sacrificial living? Do we have free-will or is everything for-ordained?
Grey. Cloudy. Oft-debated issues. Dr. Seuss took into account having “mixed up days” as well. . . but it was okay, because we all go back to being ourselves in the end.
But grey is a horse of a different color, isn’t it? There’s nothing definitive there. We might find some guidelines, but ultimately even prevailing wisdom isn’t always what God is calling us to.
Missionaries who sell all they have to move to a foreign land and live off sometimes unstable donations of their supporters. Wise? Only in God’s economy.
The wife who stays in a loveless marriage with a recalcitrant spouse who neglects her and doesn’t provide well. Wise? Maybe, in God’s economy.
The woman who serves and serves and serves and rarely ever takes. Is she being used and unable to say ‘no” or is she fulfilling God’s calling in her life?
Do you struggle with the grey areas? I do. Sometimes I want the line drawn more clearly, yet God calls us to lean into Him during the grey, and listen and heed HIS voice above even worldly wisdom. And then obey. Someday He will make it all clear.
Where is your grey area? Where do you struggle to hear God in the grey? Just know – He IS there with you.