Yesterday I walked for a while in very thick fog. It was disorienting and I could not see far ahead. As I walked, I prayed, listening carefully to the voice of my Lord. I knew God was walking with me, for He has promised to do so, and I have long enjoyed this blessing. As I walked with the Lord through the fog I heard Him speaking to my heart, reminding me that this was a picture of how I have lived recently. Though it was unpleasant for me to hear this, I knew it was true physically and spiritually.
Physically I have not felt right lately. It was exactly twelve weeks ago today that I received a long-awaited Stem Cell Transplant as treatment for Multiple Myeloma, the cancer of bone marrow and blood plasma cells that I have been fighting for nearly two years. Since the transplant, my immune system has been slowly rebuilding, and my strength has been slowly increasing, for which I am very grateful.
But lately I have often struggled with being able to think clearly. It has felt like my head is in a proverbial fog, which has reduced my motivation and ability to do very much. I have lately demonstrated some symptoms of depression. My medical provider suggests that these symptoms can be side effects of some medicines I am taking, so changes in prescriptions are now being made to see if it helps.
Spiritually I have been in a fog lately too. I have felt more distant from the Lord and His Church. I know that some of this is the effects of prolonged social isolation, which has been hard and unnatural for me and for many. In my spiritual fog I have been neglecting some things I should be doing and doing some things I should not be doing. But I have again been reminded by my Lord that whenever life is not right for me or for any of us, He sees and cares. So yesterday as I walked through the fog with my Lord, I was convicted by the Holy Spirit that I have lately been allowing the fog of my confusion to affect me spiritually. I have thus prayed less, obeyed less, trusted less, and enjoyed His presence less than before. As God brought this conviction to me, and as I confessed to Him the truth of it, offering humble repentance, my Lord showed me what to do.
Having been blessed to walk with God for more than six decades now, I know very well that this is not the first time I have walked for a while through thick fog. This malaise has happened to me before, and it can happen to any of us. Perhaps you have lately felt disoriented, unable to find clarity or to get your bearings in this troubled and confusing world. If you should find yourself in such a state now or if you do in the future, you too can be blessed by putting into practice the guidance I received from the Lord. Walking through the fog with God can be as simple as A, B, C (Admit, Believe, and Continue).
Admit the Fog. Stop denying it. Admit it and own it, for God invites us to come to Him just as we are.
Admit your sin – like the tax collector who humbly prayed: “God be merciful to me a sinner” (Luke 18:13)
Admit your weakness – like the Apostle Paul who repeatedly brought to the Lord his “thorn in the flesh”, pleading for its removal, but instead received abundant grace, hearing the Lord’s assurance that, “my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:8-9).
Admit your need – like the disciples at night on the sea in a storm, who realized their desperate need for the Lord, then cried out to Him, “Save us Lord, we are perishing” (Matthew 8:23-27).
Getting through the fog with God starts with owning it; acknowledging our problem and our need.
Believe the Fog will Lift. Just as the fog on my walk yesterday did eventually lift, in due time for all who believe in the Lord, the cloud is going to lift and things will become clearer.
Believe that God is surely able – like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego who, when facing a horrible death in a fiery furnace, knew with certainty that God could surely deliver them, so they rightly and boldly declared to the king of the Babylonian empire that, “Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king” (Daniel 3:17).
Believe that God will surely do what He has promised – like Caleb and Joshua who with ten other spies saw the strength of the enemy, but unlike the other ten, these two had no doubt that God was stronger. Contrary to the spies who doubted that God was able, Joshua and Caleb believed that God would surely give the victory. Because of their resolute faith, in God’s time they were blessed to enter and enjoy the land of promise (Numbers 13-14).
Believe that God will surely take care of you – like Mary who after receiving the startling news from God through the angel Gabriel that she would conceive a child while yet a virgin, and that her child would be the Son of God and long awaited Messianic King who will reign forever, Mary did not reject or argue with this news, for she knew “nothing will be impossible with God”. Knowing in faith that God would surely take care of her, she immediately replied in complete surrender, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word” (Luke 1:37-38).
Getting safely through the prevalent fog in our lives requires that we believe God is surely able, and that God will surely do what He has promised to do, and that God will surely take good care of me and you.
Continue Walking with God through the Fog. Refuse to allow the fog of your struggle to become an excuse for lethargy or despair.
Continue Seeking God’s presence – like Moses who was utterly frustrated and filled with despair because of the rebellion of the people, including his trusted brother Aaron who served as High Priest, and yet Moses kept seeking and experiencing sweet fellowship with the Lord in the tent of meeting, and he again climbed Mount Sinai, to meet with God and to intercede for the people (Exodus 32-34).
Continue Listening to God’s voice – like Elijah who, while in a deep spiritual fog, was invited and enabled to hear the still small voice of God (I Kings 19:12).
Continue Following God’s lead – like Philip who, after fleeing Jerusalem because of a troubling wave of persecution, faithfully followed the Holy Spirit’s leading to bring the good news of Jesus to Samaria, and then to the eunuch from Ethiopia (Acts 8), and like the Apostle Paul who experienced a great many hardships in the Lord’s service, and yet readily answered God’s call to go to Macedonia (Acts 16).
Getting safely through the fog we sometimes encounter in this life requires our continued walking with God through it all, even in uncertain or troubling times when we cannot see far ahead. It requires that we continue seeking His presence, opening His Word and listening carefully to His voice. It requires that we continue following God’s lead, going wherever He leads us, and doing whatever He directs us to do.
I am so blessed to have heard the Lord’s reminder that I am not walking through the fog alone. I am glad to be walking with God. I know He has brought me this far, and He will surely see me through. God will see you through too. So let’s keep walking with Him, keeping our faith and holding on His hand, for we know in God’s good time and in His way, for our good and His glory, the fog will surely lift.