It was great to be back at Ebenezer today—no ice or snow! We had an enjoyable service of worship and fellowship. Our current lesson on the study of the Apostle’s Creed: Between the Cross and the Resurrection, or “Where did Jesus go after his death and before he rose from the dead?” Join us at 10 a.m. next Sunday to find out!
Although the roads were clear Sunday morning, the air space was less than clear! Fog limited my vision as I drove up to Greenfield, often times making me slow way down. And I suppose that wasn’t necessarily such a bad thing!
Nevertheless, the lack of visibility made me think about other times in my life when my visibility has been limited, not necessary physically, but mentally and spiritually. I remember being a teenager and not being able to see beyond the immediate crises of relationships and cliques, not realizing that in just a short time everything would change.
Another time of limited visibility was when Donald and I started dating. I kind of thought he liked me, but I really wasn’t sure, and I definitely wasn’t patient enough to wait to find out. Twice I caught myself walking in my sleep because I was so nervous about where our relationship would go. I couldn’t see past my fears and hopes for my future to really enjoy the times as they were. Looking back, we have been married 25 years, so I guess I didn’t really need to worry so much.
I guess the problem with fog in our lives is that if we can’t see through it, we get frustrated and assume there is nothing on the other side. Because we can’t see it, it must not be there. However, that attitude is the antithesis of faith.
Hebrews claims that “faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (11:1). Faith in God is belief in a Being who is higher than us, stronger than us, wiser than us, more loving than us, and yet who cares for us. You can explain the evidences of God in your life, but to accept it I need faith.
The Bible is replete with examples of those who failed to see beyond the fog of circumstances in their lives. One of my favorite examples is that of Peter. The first person to declare that Jesus was truly the Messiah, Peter, had his own ideas about Jesus’ ministry. When Jesus started to teach them about his coming sacrifice, “Peter took [Jesus] aside and began to rebuke him. ‘Never, Lord!’ he said. ‘This shall never happen to you!’” While his intentions were good, Peter could not see beyond the fog of his presuppositions about the Messiah. Jesus replied, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men” (Matthew 16:21-23).
What is causing the fog in your life these days? Is it unanswered prayer? Something you don’t understand? Perhaps the fog you are trying to see through is an illness or financial struggles. Take a cue from good driving practices in fog to help get through the fog in your life.
1. Slow down. Since you can’t see very far ahead of you, it is important to leave room between yourself and the vehicles that may be ahead. So with life, it is important to slow down and give yourself time to react to the occurrences that come your way. Leave space for reacting and adjusting.
2. Turn off your radio and listen for the cars around you, especially when you are making a turn. Use all of your senses to negotiate the fog and stay on the road. In life, eliminate distractions, taking time for prayer and listening for the still, silent voice of the Spirit to lead you on.
3. Watch your speedometer. Studies show that the longer a driver is in the fog, the faster he or she drives. In life, the Bible is our speedometer, our guidebook, our owner’s manual, and God is the owner! Spending time learning and meditating on God’s Word will keep you from speeding too fast through the fog in your life, allowing you time to become what God has planned for you to be.
4. Signal to others to let them know you are there; otherwise, a driver behind you may not see you in time. And if you need to pull off the road, pull over all the way and put on your flashers so they can know you are there. Sometimes the fog is so thick that we feel as if we cannot continue. “Pull over” and take a few moments to let some of the fog pass. Paul tells us to carry each other’s burdens. Be sure to signal so your brothers and sisters in Christ can see that you need help. Let your family minister to you and help you through times of limited visibility.
The analogy isn’t perfect, but it makes an important point. Fog is inevitable, just as snow, rain, and other impediments. But we can make it through times of limited visibility in our lives by relying on the One who can see through the fog, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Mary Kay Glunt, Pastor
Ebenezer Presbyterian, Greenfield