In the fog?
Good Friday. Resurrection Sunday. What’s in between? Foggy, murky, misty Saturday.
Saturday I drove down to my family’s home in Louisville. I am trying to support, love, and care for two aging and ailing parents right now, and these trips to and from Louisville can be tough. So many good things in my life, but this is a very challenging season for my family. I know so many of you can relate.
As I headed south and crossed the bridge into Kentucky, the fog was so thick I couldn’t see two cars ahead, let alone across the river. When I reached the other side, I suddenly rose up into blue skies and bright, clear sunshine. Up out of the soupy valley into clarity.
“For we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7)
Learning to walk with Jesus means learning to walk carefully in the fog. If I make major decisions while fogged in, I am liable to head off in the wrong direction. It means learning to trust what Jesus said before the crucifixion, so I am able to trust in Him during the darkness before the resurrection. It means learning how to wait, to watch, and to trust in what I know to be true, whether my complicated emotions line up or not.
As the great theologian Tom Petty said, “The waiting is the hardest part. Every day you get one more yard. You take it on faith; you take it to the heart. The waiting is the hardest part.” Your word is a lamp to my feet” (Ps 119:105)—not a floodlight clearly showing me the next 25 years--because some days that’s all I can see: just putting one foot in front of the other, waiting for the release, clarity, comfort, healing, and answers to appear. “Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”? Søren Kierkegaard. Hindsight is 20/20. Clarity often comes only with time.
"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they will not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched,
Nor will the flame burn you.” (Isaiah 43:2)
When you pass through the waters... When you walk through the fire… Not IF. When. There’s some really lousy theology out there that says if you’re really walking with God, you won’t have any struggles or suffering. You’ll have lots of money and everyone will love you! To which I say, “Have they read the Bible?”
“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you” (1 Peter 4:12)
We all go through seasons of water and fire and fog and darkness, where we cannot see clearly. Sometimes life is just hard. No two ways about it. Darkness, burdens, uncertainty, anxiety, worry, “what if”… The enemy will try to convince you that you will forever be stuck in the valley. We need friends who will come alongside and magnify God for us. We need to remember who God is, what He has done, what He has said, and what He has promised. Remember, remember, remember. 169 times in Scripture, God reminds us to remember.
I love Spring so much because the Creator brings life out of what looks like certain and permanent death.
For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:12-13)
Anyone else stuck in Saturday? God will bring life through faith, hope, and love.
January 2018 Rhythms of Jesus
April 2017 Yes and No
August 2016 Weary
May 2016 Seasons of the Soul
November 2015 Still
October 2015 Continuous Partial Attention
August 2015 Look up
June 2015 Lead me to the Rock
April 2015 Embracing Limits
January 2015 One Thing
November 2014 Grateful
October 2014 Learning from Pain