Monthly Archives: January 2012

Through the Fog

So last night God used something out of the ordinary to kind of catch my attention. As some of you know, my wife and I have sold our townhome and recently moved to Salem, VA and are now living with her parents while we take some time to pay off some debt and then begin looking for a place to live that is more within our means. However, even though we moved to Salem, I still have to drive to Lynchburg to work at UPS for the time being until God leads me to job in Roanoke. I tried to get a transfer to the Roanoke UPS but apparently God has other plans. He has closed the door for any transfer as of now to the Roanoke center which leaves me driving to Lynchburg every day. This is far from ideal for us and it has been hard for Marcie and I. We have been praying through every step that we have taken and asked that God would guide us where He wants us. And tonight, as I was driving back to Salem, I was praying the same way.

Then came the fog. At first I thought it was going to be one of those patches of fog that I would come out of in a couple minutes; but as I kept driving, the fog kept going. At first it was annoying because in some places it was so thick that I really had to slow down to drive safely. During one of the extremely thick parts, I started asking God if there was anything He wanted to teach me through this. I am extremely glad that I asked this question. For the next 40 minutes of the drive, God kept teaching me different things through the fog that had descended between Bedford and Salem.

First, so often in our lives as Christians, we want God to make clear our path before us. We don’t like it when there are bumps in the road, unexpected obstacles. We pray that God would take those out of the way so we would know where it is He is leading us. We pray that things would go well or that we would have a peace in our lives to know God is leading us and that we are not making foolish decisions. We just want to know what it is God desires of us. But what about when God decides not to reveal that to us? Or when He does not take away the obstacles or the bumps in the road and it seems that more and more bumps keep coming up? What about the times when the road gets harder, much harder before it gets easier? In America, Christians have done great at making it seem like when the way gets harder instead of easier, that God must be closing the door on the direction we are going. But is that actually the case? Are our lives supposed to get easier? Are our lives supposed to always make sense?

As I was driving through this fog that hindered my vision, affected my speed at which I was traveling, I was forced to slow down. I was forced to change my habits. Even though I know the road between Lynchburg and Roanoke quite well, I had to make adjustments. I had to be more alert. I had to look at just what my headlights actually lit up and revealed to me, which a few times was no more than 10 feet in front of me. That is not how I enjoy driving. But I had no choice if I wanted to remain safe. So I slowed down. It made me think of Psalm 119:105 –

Thy Word is a lamp to my feet

And a light to my path.

Nowhere in the Bible does it ever say that God is supposed to remove obstacles or bumps in the road that He leads us on. It never says the way is supposed to be easy. In most cases, being a follower of Christ seems to lead people to a harder life, one where we have to walk by faith. We look at hard times as God closing a door instead of maybe thinking that God just wants to teach us to trust Him or strengthen our faith. Imagine if any of the disciples were to have thought the way that many American Christians think today. Or imagine if the Apostle Paul had turned back when He went through a hard time? The church would not be what it is today. Why do we feel that God needs to make our way clear or obvious? Is that right praying? Or should we be praying that God gives us the strength and wisdom to persevere through the trials we might face?

James 1:2-4 seems to make the point that we should expect trials.

Count it all joy my brothers when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

We should expect things to not always go our way when we are following Christ. I know that when things go the way that I plan them or the way that I feel they should go, I trust Christ lest. But when things do not happen the way that I would like them to or things get harder instead of easier, it seems to make me depend more on Christ and His strength instead of my own.

It seems that when the fog does not lift, it does not mean to turn around and head back, but maybe it means to slow down and look for God, look for His guidance and to be more alert to Him, to listen. Maybe God wants to show us that when we pray for His Word to be the light for our feet and the lamp to our path that we need to consider that the light spoken of in that verse was just enough light for the next step or couple steps. It was not enough to light up the trail to the next curve. It was the next step, and then the next, and the next…

Too often we want to get out of the fog when maybe the best place for us is in it. I know I learned a lot by being in the fog tonight.

I do not know what you are going through as you read this blog, but if you have time, look at the following lyrics. They are from the song Always by Kristian Stanfill. You can listen to the song here.

My foes are many, they rise against me
But I will hold my ground
I will not fear the war, I will not fear the storm
My help is on the way, my help is on the way

Oh, my God, He will not delay
My refuge and strength always
I will not fear, His promise is true
My God will come through always, always

Troubles surround me, chaos abounding
My soul will rest in You
I will not fear the war, I will not fear the storm
My help is on the way, my help is on the way

Oh, my God, He will not delay
My refuge and strength always
I will not fear, His promise is true
My God will come through always, always

I lift my eyes up, my help comes from the Lord
I lift my eyes up, my help comes from the Lord
I lift my eyes up, my help comes from the Lord
I lift my eyes up, my help comes from the Lord
From You Lord, from You Lord

Oh, my God, He will not delay
My refuge and strength always
I will not fear, His promise is true
My God will come through always, always

Oh, my God, He will not delay
My refuge and strength always, always.