Yesterday morning I was walking along the coastline at Surfers Point and the fog was thicker than I’ve seen in a while. I was certain the ocean was there even though I was seeing less of it than normal. The fog made the ocean look more like a moving puddle.
Can you relate to the surfer in the above picture?
Do you feel like you’re navigating through a fog in your life right now?
Do you need to make a decision but can’t seem to gain clarity?
Fog is a reality but I’ve noticed four things that cause fog to linger longer in our lives:
1) Ignoring Emotions
Several years ago my emotional fog was thicker than it had ever been. Certain truths (God loves me, God is with me, and God has a plan for me) had always been “ocean-deep” anchors in my life. That’s why I was surprised when anger, hurt, and anxiety hid these truths. Instead of ocean-deep truths, they began to feel more like moving puddles.
Emotions are great indicators but terrible leaders. Emotions reveal that something important is happening in your heart which requires your attention. If you ignore your emotions, the fog will linger.
If you’re experiencing an emotional fog, I recommend Chip Dodd’s book, The VOICE of the HEART.
2) Hiding Doubt
Our doubts can confuse us and create a fog. We may wonder, “Is God ashamed of me or mad at me for doubting?”
We know exactly how Jesus responded to one man who doubted. One man confessed his doubts by telling Jesus, “I believe but help my unbelief.” Jesus didn’t rebuke him or his doubt. Instead, He responded by answering the man’s honest prayer with a divine miracle: Jesus healed the doubter’s son.
There are two different kinds of doubt: Doubt with the desire to believe (the man who approached Jesus) and doubt with the determination to never believe.
Hiding your doubts causes the fog to linger.
If you’re experiencing a doubting fog, pickup Barnabas Piper’s new book, Help My Unbelief.
3) Unconfessed Sin
Did you know that sin blurs your vision of God? We all experience this because, well . . . we’re sinners.
In His Beatitude sermon, Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart for they will SEE God.” -Matt. 5:8
A purified heart sees God more clearly. However, allowing sin to remain encourages the fog to stay.
4) Season of Testing
“Sometimes God hides himself from us even when we continue in the life of faith. On occasion God may withdraw his gracious presence to test us or to discipline us but always with the view of making us stronger. Even the most godly Christians sometimes have to pass through a dark night of the soul where they have to believe against all sight, reason, and understanding.” -Donald Bloesch
Here’s the GOOD NEWS: Though it feels permanent, the fog will lift. It will.
Sometimes you need to heal.
Sometimes you need God’s intervention.
Sometimes you need to repent.
Sometimes you hold on and walk by faith, not by sight.
One day we will enter Heaven where the veil will be forever lifted.
I guess that’s why many of our Scriptures and songs throughout history focus on the need to “hold on.”
It turns out those aren’t moving puddles covered by a fog but God’s gentle reminder that the ocean is nearby.