Earlier this week, I woke up one morning at 4:30. I had not planned on waking up that early, but I was wide awake – and for some reason I could not wait to get out for a run.
It was a cool morning – in the 50’s – and still completely dark, save the few street lights in our new neighborhood. As I turned the corner and headed out towards the new high school being built nearby, I realized it was foggy. Very foggy. It was so dense that all I could make out was the muted glow of the lights around the high school.
It was glorious.
Silence, all around, save the sound of the wind whipping the flag on the flagpole as I ran by.
I felt like I had entered sacred ground in a way, because across from the new high school was a huge plot of land that was not yet developed. There was a sidewalk on the outside edge, but behind that – nothing.
I had to stop and look at it for a minute, and stare into the thick nothingness that I could not see. This is the perfect picture of where I am and where I am headed, I thought. Fully confident of the presence of God, yet fully unaware of what waits beyond the next few steps in front of me.
I have come to love fog for that very reason – because it is such a perfect visual of what the presence of God is like – what it can seem like, I guess I should say – at different times in our lives, or even just at different times in worship. It is a reminder that we can breathe him in and stand in His very presence. It’s beautiful, mysterious, satisfying…and promised to us, if only we will pursue Him and do the work of waiting.
The only thing I could see in the midst of the fog was the white line of the bike lane on the road, so of course I kept my eyes on it the whole time. It kept my footing sure and my path going the right direction, even though I still couldn’t see much.
Isn’t that just like faith? There are times in our lives where things get foggy, and the next steps are not always clear. Maybe we can barely see the road in front of us – or maybe we cannot see it at all – but as we all know, life doesn’t just stop. Neither does faith. In fact, that’s the point of faith, to keep walking with God, knowing he is your plumbline, even when you don’t have directions and can’t see where you are going or what’s up next.
I like how The Message puts it: “… this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living…” (Heb 11:1) Other translations use words like “evidence of what we hope for” and “substance of things unseen”. But you see, this isn’t just vague faith that eventually things will get better, or that things will work out.
Faith, grounded in the work of Jesus love for us on the cross and his ability to raise our lives from the dead even as we still walk this earth – that kind of faith is trusting He will never abandon you, even when things seem foggy. It’s holding to promises God has made of his provision, ability to comfort and counsel, even when evidence might seem to speak to the opposite.
Faith sometimes involves walking forward in the next thing without the daily reassurance that you made the right decision… but resting in the One that called and promises to go before you.
So today, I leave you with one of my new favorite songs, it’s called “Steady Heart” by Amanda Cook….. (but you can search for it yourself on YouTube or Spotify) 🙂