I woke up this morning and I couldn’t even see out my windows. After getting my kids ready for school we got in the car and headed for school. When I got to the stop sign to leave our little neighborhood, I needed to turn left but I couldn’t see more than twenty feet in either direction. Was there a car coming? Could we even make the turn? I really wasn’t sure.
Then I saw it. Two tiny flecks of light piercing the fog. We waited. And then we went. I nearly held my breath as I made the turn, trusting that we would be safe. The moment we got on the road, the enveloping fog reminded me of what I already know. In this life we will encounter times when it will be hard to see.
I feel like the last few weeks of my life have been a literal and figurative fog. Not only was my vision blurred but so was my mind. There were so many thoughts, feelings, emotions and fears and yet, no words. No way to tie them all together. I waited for days and weeks for coherent thought and a picture to explain it all to my weary mind and nothing. In some ways, I remain in a season of wait.
It never ceases to amaze me how nature brings simple answers to what seem like the most complex problems. The simple truth is there will be days and weeks and possibly entire seasons of fog. When our vision seems clouded and we do not know the way.
Times when we cannot see whether the road in front of us is safe.
But it also reminded me that this is the life of faith. Because when we walk only by sight we’re not really trusting in God at all, but ourselves. Often I’m tempted to think that I know the way. My way. I get frustrated and discouraged when life doesn’t seem to align with my plan or I can’t make sense out of a story. I’m much better known for trying to think my way through my problem instead of just embracing the beauty of the unknown.
Sometimes I think these dense fog moments are the only way He can get me to surrender. To teach me that faith, without FAITH, is actually no faith at all.
I don’t only want to believe in God, but I want to believe God. I want to believe that He can do what He says He can do and to know, deep in the heart of my soul, that chances are it will never be my way. Nor will it make sense to me at the time. I want to be able to remember that – not just when things seem to be going well – but in the times when I just cannot see.
Perhaps sometimes we look back and it all makes sense. There are many of those stories in my life. I look back and see the heartache and the reason and I am grateful. But I’m not sure if this is always the way it works out. Perhaps there will be times I will look back and never be sure. The longer I live the less I know with certainty. But one thing I do know is this: every single hardship I have faced I can look back and see God was faithful. And He never left me alone.
I feel comfort in knowing that God never called me to figure it out. He doesn’t ask or even expect me to know all things. He just asks me to follow Him. Through the deepest fog. To trust His leading. To know that when He closes a door or takes me down a different path than where I thought I was headed, to go willingly. That when I have to leave something behind, it doesn’t meant He’s letting it go. I want the faith that tells me that even though I cannot see, He can. And He knows the way.
Though as believers it can feel as if we walk in a fog sometimes in this life, I’m grateful to know these are the times we walk by faith.
Do you feel like you’re headed into a fog? Or perhaps you’re going through an entire season of fog?
Here are a few ways to keep going when you cannot see:
1. Change your focus
Instead of trying to determine what you can see and what you know, do something entirely different. Stop thinking about it. Stop trying to figure it out. Get creative. Give your cognitive mind a break and work on something that requires you to use the other areas of your brain.
2. Get out in nature
I believe that nature reveals her secrets in the simple rhythms of life. Spring is bursting in my backyard and boldly proclaiming the message that life blooms even after the deepest frost. Get outside. Soak in the wonder and simplicity of life all around you.
Often we’re weary from trying to figure out all the things and we just need time to rest. Spend some time in a book or a craft; invest in friends and family who nurture your soul. Instead of constantly pouring OUT, take some time to put some good things IN.
4. Practice surrender
There are times I know I need to let something go but I just can’t figure out HOW. The unfortunate answer is there isn’t a magic answer. Like most things in life, there isn’t a how-to. There’s simply one determined decision after another, over and over and over again. Every moment the thoughts creep back in, choose to let them go and choose faith.
We were never promised that this life would be easy, nor that we would always know the way. Embrace it. It’s both the lesson and the gift. Because when we start letting go of what we cannot see and what we may never understand, we begin to actually live out this thing we call faith. Because faith, without faith, is no faith at all. Let us be people who when we choose to hold on to something, we reach for faith.