Later that same morning, as I was driving my daughter Megan to her basketball practice, she commented on the thick fog. I shared with her that it had been much thicker earlier that morning, and we began to talk about how the sun will always eventually burn away the fog. As we looked into the big Texas sky, we could begin to see the silhouette of the sun breaking through.
This isn’t the first time that I’ve discussed this with my kids, and it obviously isn’t the first time anyone has written on this topic. In fact, as I searched the internet for pictures, there were countless articles, blogs, and even a book called “Out of the Fog.” This past week, this occurrence hit me in a very personal spot. As Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 1:9, “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” But what’s great about the Holy Spirit is that He uses things that have happened countless times before to speak to us right when we need it most. I needed this Word that morning. In fact, it’s still speaking to me as I write today.
There are several scientific explanations why fog forms, but one definition I found applied and spoke to me perfectly. The definition said, “Sometimes fog forms when warm air moves over a cold surface.” As I thought about that definition, the Holy Spirit awakened me to a new truth. There have been many times when my life gets cold. When I use the word cold, it doesn’t mean that I lose faith in God. It simply means that I was in a situation, whether self-induced by my own poor choices or possibly beyond my control, where I found myself doubting, struggling, confused, guilty, hurt, lonely, at-a-loss, answer-less, overwhelmed, desperate, or ashamed. It was a cold place. Then the Holy Spirit's presence begins to move over my life and through my circumstances, and a thick fog appears.
God’s presence, His Spirit within us, speaks in the fog.You see I'm learning that in the fog we have to move more cautiously. In the fog we have to be more aware of what’s happening around us. In the fog we can learn so much about who we are, what we believe, and potentially about what needs to change. It’s in the fog where we have the opportunity to walk by faith as we realize how helpless we are and allow Him to direct our steps. It’s in the fog where we are able to recognize that we do need Him most.
The fog will always burn away as the sun encompasses the earth. How we come out of the fog is completely up to us. I know from my own, many times painful, personal experiences that I often become so focused on the fog lifting, because I am so uncomfortable and can't see clearly, that I miss what I could learn in the fog. Worse yet, I have also many times have heard what I was supposed to hear, and simply refused to apply it. What was the result? A thick fog reappears, and I find myself right back where I started.
There is one thing that we can be certain of; there is never a moment in our life that the sun (or the Son) isn’t there. Even when the fog is at its thickest clear skies will eventually appear. I know there folks today that are in a fog that makes no sense. There are no answers to the questions. There is no explanation. All they can see is the hand right in front of their face. The fog is thick. There are many things that may never make sense in this life. There is no reason. But as Paul said, “NOW we see only a reflection as in a mirror; THEN we shall see face to face. NOW I know in part; THEN I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And NOW these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” (I Corinthians 13:12-13)
Paul assures us that until the “THEN” happens (when this life ends and we step into the new life God has promised) that in the midst of the darkest fog there ARE a few things that we can be certain of NOW; Faith, Hope, and Love. They are what make up the knot at the end of our rope. We just have to hold on, trust, and learn as He speaks in the midst of the fog that encompasses us because the Son will come.
I’m reminded again of what Jesus said, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)