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Godly fog

Godly fog

Today, I welcome the haziness.

Driving through the Pocono mountains, my navigation app alerts me a dozen times that there’s fog on this turnpike.  It may be the most redundant thing the app does since I’m apt to notice the fog on my own.  Duh, Waze.

I’ve done more than notice it, in fact. Rolling across the road, laying like a thick blanket in the valleys in view – this fog is worth an early exit to find a place to walk in it.

Along a back-mountain road, I park my car and hike down a trail. I soon arrive at a railway and choose to make it my path for a while. Having grown up near a Philadelphia trolley line, I have walked along rails many, many times.

This morning, the winter sun is a smear in the hazy sky. The tracks fade as they round a large curve. It’s wonderfully moody. I love the contrast of the solid rails and the blur of the distance.

Surety and uncertainty.  Between a rock and a far space.

I’m in one of those times. I have a strong inkling that God has brought me to this point in my life to undertake a new endeavor. And yet the way is not yet open for me.  It’s confusing.

Often, people in Scripture hit a similar point. Granted, many of them got there when God pulled their perspective out from under them. But the confusion is the same. And it’s often asked in the form of a question.  Here are just a few:

“How can this be?” Nicodemus asked. (John 3:9)

Couldn’t I wash in (my own rivers) and be cleansed?” (2 Kings 2:12)

but if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? (Judges 6:13)

“Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh?” (Exodus 3:11)

they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to. (Acts 16:7)

These aren’t questions concerning God’s existence. For them, that’s as settled as the rails I walk along. These questions are about who he is in relation to who we are – how God wants us to move forward in his purposes. He often has a perspective that’s so other, it’s dizzying to try to comprehend.

And though it’s not fun to be at a point of uncertainty, it’s actually quite good for our souls. When we can’t see the way ahead, it directs us to seek his face more. To ask him questions. To wait for answers.

As I stand on a railroad tie, I feel its solidity and strength beneath my feet. This is the place to start in any time of incertitude: God’s grace in the moment. Right here, right now, God is with me. At any point on our journey, we should be able, like Samuel, to raise our Ebenezer: “Thus far the LORD has helped us.” (1 Samuel 7:12)

His unchanging character, his faithfulness, proven over and over, is what moves us forward.  Even if the future is foggy.

Heavenly Father, we thank you that in the times when we’re confused about the future, you are faithful and good.  We trust that you will make the way clear for us to do your will.

Reader: Are you dealing with any godly fogginess?  What helps you those times when the way forward isn’t clear?

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Bruce Van Patter

As a freelance illustrator, graphic recorder, and author, Bruce is on a lifelong journey to delight in the handiwork of the Creator. And he’s always ready for fellow travelers.

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