Through the Fog
By Claire Ryan
One morning while I lived with my grandparents, I woke up to a thick layer of fog. Pawpaw pointed outside. “You’ll need to be extra careful today,” he said.
I nodded and sat across from Pawpaw. Sometimes, we sat quietly; sometimes we talked. But, he always sent me off to work with a prayer.
“When we pray, we don’t inform You of anything You don’t already know,” Pawpaw told God gently. “You already know about the fog.”
Immediately, my throat tightened, and I got that growing pressure behind my eyes that can only mean one thing: waterworks knocking at the door.
Lord, You know about the fog.
Figuratively speaking, if I have come across one layer of fog in my life, I’ve barreled through hundreds more. Sometimes, it’s so thick, I can hardly see my feet hit the ground in front of me. A head-on collision occurs, and I’m left feeling broken, bruised, lonely, and forgotten.
This fog can appear in many forms: the loss of a job, the death of a loved one, fear, a broken heart, a lonely spirit, self-doubt, bullying, a secret sin, etc. My fog is most often worry; but as the staircase rises higher, it can reach the level of fear.
“How do I get past this break-up?”
“Why do bad things happen to good people?”
“Why don’t they like me?”
“I’m fat, I’ll stop eating.”
“No one cares about me.”
“I am worthless. I should just give up.”
These questions and thoughts penetrate the mind and continue to enforce the false belief we lead meaningless lives in a meaningless world where no one cares.
The fog thickens.
Too often, I attempt to force myself through the unforgiving fog. My natural instinct is to hurry out of it as fast as I can, using my own strength.
This is not what the Lord has called us to. I imagine Him looking down at me with overwhelming love and grace saying, “What are you doing, child? Don’t you know that I am your eyesight? I cause the blind to see. Is it not enough that I be your strength? My power is made perfect in your weakness.” With an undying, incomprehensible love, He proclaims, “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).
Oh, but being still is hard; especially when I find myself in the fog.
What does it mean to be still? Consider the beginning verses of Psalm 46: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling” (verses 1-3). Though the fog becomes too thick for us to breathe, though we can’t see daylight on the other side, though our hearts are heavy with sorrow, though our joy be threatened by this life. Being still in the presence of the Lord means although we find ourselves in the midst of all of life’s frantic activity, we stand firm and still, trusting the God of all comfort has gone before us. We should not fear; we should not cower; we should not run and hide.
“Know that I am God.” In this, He loudly proclaims, “I am omniscient! Omnipotent! Omnipresent! I am love, I am justice, and I am undefiled! I am strong enough to carry your burdens, holy enough to pay for your sins, and merciful enough to forgive your humanity! I. Am. God. You can know this; you can trust me!”
Wow! The Great I Am says all of that to me and to you.
Nothing in your fog can stand against the love of our Savior. Fear has no place, heartbreak self-destructs, and death cannot prevail. Despite our poor vision and the fact we can’t see what’s coming next, we are not alone. Take a breath, slow your walk, and take it one step at a time.
Most importantly: be still.
He already knows about the fog.
About the Writer: A 2017 graduate of Welch College, Claire Ryan teaches at Cheatham County Central High School in Ashland City, Tennessee.