I know there's a bank on the other side of this bayou. A bank with trees and houses and boat docks. The fog keeps me from seeing it. But I know it's there.
If I had to, I'd bet my life on it.
I know there's a bridge out in the bay. I've crossed it many, many times. On most days I can stand right here, on the edge of the bayou with my feet in the sand, and see it. On really clear days, I can see cars traveling across it. I can't see the bridge because of the fog, but I know it's there.
If I had to, I'd bet my life on it.
The fog tries to convince me that what I see of the bayou is all that there is. But I know better. I know if I look to the left, the bayou flows around the bend into another bayou. I know if I look to the right the bayou flows out into the bay, and the bay flows out into the Gulf of Mexico. I know that there is more to this bayou than I can see through the fog.
If I had to, I would bet my life on it.
The Bible tells us of men and women who bet their lives on things they couldn't see.
They bet their lives on Someone they couldn't see.
They are remembered in the book of Hebrews, Chapter 11. The people in this chapter are sometimes called members of the "Hall of Faith." Philip Yancy calls them "Survivors of the Fog."
I have many, many days when the fog rolls in. Some days, the fog just clouds a small part of my life, like a relationship, or a decision, or a memory, or a failure. Other days, I just can't seem to see anything at all through the mist of the fog.
I like sunny clear days. Days when I can see the bank on the other side of the bayou and the bridge out in the bay. Days when I can see the plan, and the way I am suppose to go. Days when I can see God's hand working in my life.
But if I were to be perfectly honest, I'd have to say that on those clear sunny days, I think I don't need God as much. On those days when I have answers, and I can see the plan, I try to make it on my own.
"The kind of faith God values seems to develop best when everything fuzzes over, when God stays silent, when the fog rolls in." Yancey
I want to be remembered for my faith. I want to please God with my faith. I want to be called a "Survivor of the Fog."
But, I can't . . . without the fog.
Faith in what I can see, isn't faith at all.
"Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Hebrews 11:1
And as far as pleasing God . . .
"But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him." Hebrews 11:6
It pleases God when we trust Him in the fog. It pleases Him when we trust that He is there and that He is good and that He has a plan for us . . . even, and especially, when we can't see.
How do we do that when we are blinded by the fog of confusion and chaos and fear?
One thing I try to do, when the fog rolls in, is to remember.
I remember what God had done before, when I couldn't see.
I remember that when the fog was lifted, I could see that His hand had been there all along.
I remember God's goodness and His mercies and I hang onto to His faithfulness.
I remember all His benefits from Psalm 103.
And I remember that, though the fog will return, there will be days when I can see.
There will be clear and sunny days.
"Fidelity involves learning to trust that, out beyond the perimeter of the fog, God still reigns and has not abandoned us, no matter how it may appear." Yancy
Only twenty four hours after the fog, I could see this . . .
And this . . .
When the fog wins, when it's so thick I find I can't even remember... He makes a way.
" . . . come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need." Hebrews 4:16
He's there in the middle of the fog.
I know it.
I'm betting on it. I have to.