I live in southern, sunny California. Most days are clear blue skies with a slight taste of salt water in the air. From February to (sometimes) June the weather patterns in our area often cause an eerie, ghost like fog to come rolling through the canyons. When the fog rolls in, it is difficult to see what is right in front of you, a chill fills the air and we long for the sunny days of summer.
A few months ago, I went for a morning hike with a friend up on the cliffs facing the beautiful Pacific Ocean. It was a path we walk often. We were very familiar with its twists and turns but on this day we could only see the ground right in front of us. The ocean and endless horizon were hidden from our gaze by a heavy cloud of fog. Although we knew it was there, we could not see it. We were also forced to walk more cautiously as the trail was covered in this haze of fog and a wrong step could ensure a major fall or a turn in the wrong direction. The imagery reminded me of the moments in our lives when the fog rolls in.
Maybe you find yourself in a season like this! You have been walking through life, striving after all God has for you. At one point, you had a clear sky, endless horizon and vision of what was ahead. You were taking steps in the right direction, navigating the ups and the downs of the journey. Then the fog rolled in. What you once could see so clearly is completely clouded in a haze of doubt, questions and fears. The chill in the air stings with inadequacy and what you what you once enjoyed in the sunshine becomes uncomfortable and uncertain. You find yourself tempted to stop or turn around.
Maybe you have said yes to a huge step of faith. Your life is taking a turn in a new direction. The path before you is unfamiliar and the future ahead of you is covered in fog. The uncertainty of what is ahead causes you to long for what is behind and anxiety attempts to paralyze your steps.
In all seasons of our lives, I think God allows us to have beautiful, sunny days with a clear vision for the future! We aim our lives in that direction but much of the journey is often spent in the fog. The fog forces us to trust and to not lean on our own understanding but rather to carefully lean into the Holy Spirit as our guide.
Habakkuk 2:2-3 tells us
“Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it. For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.”
God will give you a vision for this life he has entrusted you with. It points you in the right direction. It is your responsibility to hold on to the vision when it seems slow, when it is delayed, when you are afraid; to keep moving forward when all you can see is the one step in front of you. The problem is, the fog stirs up questions and brings on doubt. I’ve known many people to turn around and re-direct their path when the fog rolls in.
It is easy to wonder if you made a mistake or if that dream was really from God when you can’t see clearly. Big course changing decisions should not be made in the fog. In the fog, we should stay true to the path right in front of us and the step we are on. Be faithful with what is currently in your hands. Doubt stirs up distraction and often dissension if we are not careful. It can deter us from the path God has intended us to take. The fog is a playground for the enemies lies and deception. Let’s not become distracted.
If God has given you a vision and dream for your life, don’t doubt in the dark what he showed you in the light. God is the author and fulfiller of all his promises. Be confident in the path He has called you.
If you are married…stay married
If you are serving….keep serving
If you are leading…keep leading
If you are believing….keep believing
(you get my point)
When I was walking with my friend, we were forced to slow our normally fast paced, calorie burning, multi-tasking workout connection into a purposeful conversation. The fog causes us to slow down. Our steps must become intentional and not hurried. For those of us who are trailblazers or visionary dreamers, this process of patience is frustrating but is key to keeping us on course. It prevents us from focusing to much attention on the “bright, shiny, exciting future” and more on the steps at hand.
Psalm 46:10 tells us to
“Be still and know that I am God.”
In other versions it says “Cease striving and know.” Instead of panicking in the seasons of fog, could you stop and allow the stillness and mystery to drive you into a deeper understanding of who Jesus is? Could you allow this season to bring more intentionality to what you are doing and less to where you are going? When our pace is forcibly slowed down and we stop striving so hard, a season of fog can actually become quite beautiful and peaceful.
A final thought for navigating the fog; trust those who are a few steps ahead in the journey. You don’t have all the answers and you don’t know it all. To navigate the twists and turns in the midst of the unseen, we all need the voices of leaders speaking into our lives. Learn to listen well. Ask questions. Be teachable. Don’t isolate yourself in the journey, we all need friends by our side encouraging us to heed the wisdom we’ve been given, to stay the course and to not give up. We really are better together.
Hold on to hope. Discover the beauty of trusting God in uncertainty. The fog will clear, the sun will shine and the view will be worth it! Just don’t give up!
ABOUT MEGHAN ROBINSON
Meghan and her husband Carey pastor The Movement Church in Orange County California! Meghan is a wife, mom to two beautiful girls, church planter, pastor, speaker, friend, and big dreamer! Her greatest passion is helping women identify the God dream inside of them and awaken to their greater purpose! She also loves seeing women in ministry connected, equipped and inspired and is a part of our She Leads team!
IG: Divapastor | Twitter: MeghanLRobinson