NOT OUT FOR A STROLL

What’s the foggiest day you’ve ever seen? I mean a real “pea-soup” fog, a “can’t see five feet in front of you” type of fog. Sometimes fog can be so thick it’s tough to walk, and that’ can happen on the road of life, too.

If your life’s in a fog right now, you’re in the right place. Welcome to “Mornings with Bishop Robert.”

The largest fog-related car accident in history occurred on the morning of December 11, 1990. Ultimately 12 people died and 42 were injured in the 99-vehicle pileup, which began on a Tennessee highway when one tractor-trailer rear-ended another when a dense fog suddenly appeared. How suddenly, you may ask? One survivor said. “it was like somebody throwing a blanket across your windshield.” The fog was so thick that one of the rescue workers was standing under an overpass and could not see the roadway above him. Survivors who made it to the median huddled together as they listened to the crashes continue around them, powerless to intervene. Mercifully, the fog hid their eyes from the multiple fires of crashed vehicles ablaze; but the screams of the victims carried through the fog.

Sometimes in life you find yourself in an instant fog unable to see anything clearly; people and things crashing all around you. And I’m not just being melodramatic, I’ve been there. I returned home from my first ministry trip to Africa only to watch my entire life come under an attack of lies and legal charges. Over the next couple of years I would lose every penny I had and go deep into debt. My wife, my children, a granddaughter in our care and I would end up homeless and living in two tents. And I’d come to the brink of blasphemy and almost lose my faith. So if you’re life is swirling in fog right now, I get it.

Fog happens. The good news is — there is an answer.

Today’s verse says WE WALK BY FAITH NOT BY SIGHT

So how does that verse play itself out when you’re completely bewildered by the things that are happening in your life? What do you do when you don’t have a clue what to do? The best advice my wife and I received as we stumbled through the fog came from a wise and mature Christian couple who were our friends. They, too, had passed through times of dense fog. They shared two lessons learned in the process of walking by faith through the fog.

The first lesson was the benefit of perspective. “I can’t tell you how this will all work out,” our friend told us, “but I can assure you that the time will come when you will look back on this and see the ways that God has worked in this situation. You’ll see that He has, in fact, brought good things out of the pain. He didn’t CAUSE the pain, but He will use it to strengthen you in ways you cannot see yet. And, most importantly, you will see that He has been faithful.”

In the middle of the fog, we can feel like the young Indian brave I spoke about in “Blindfolded in the Woods.” But our fear and our inability to see doesn’t change the facts. Our Father has not left us alone in the woods.

The second lesson is the key to getting out of the fog with your faith. You’ve got to keep reading the bible, God’s Holy Word, and you absolutely must keep talking to Him. Reading His word is like eating, if you stop you will certainly die. It won’t be an immediate process, but it will be an inevitable one. And talking to Him, prayer, keeps you connected to Him. Don’t be afraid of what you say. He’s a BIG God. You won’t be the first one to shout angry and pain-filled words at Him and neither was I. Share your heart. Scream your anger, whisper your fears and doubts. And cry. But then don’t forget to listen, because sooner or later you’ll have come to the place where you can hear what He is saying to you.

Fog happens. When you can’t see anything, the best approach is to look to the things that are unseen. The things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. Look to your loving Heavenly Father. Though you don’t now see Him, believe in Him and you’ll eventually find yourself rejoicing with joy that is inexpressible and filled with His glory.

We’re not just out for a stroll when fog happens. You have to be deliberate when you WALK BY FAITH NOT BY SIGHT. But you have to walk. You can’t cringe by faith, and you can’t quit by faith. You CAN walk by faith, because He will help you, He will guide you, and He will strengthen you. Stay in His word and keep talking to Him; God will walk with you through the fog.

And when the fog clears, you will see that He has been faithful.

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