I live in Northern California, and our beaches are a little different than those you would typically equate with California sunshine. They’re usually a little on the cold side, with fog and wind, and the sunny day is the exception to the rule, not the rule itself. I love to sit and watch the fog roll through and see the bluish green of the water as the waves wash back and forth across the shoreline. Some days, even when you walk the rock-wall harbor line, you can’t see the end of the wall, or even where the last boat is docked. It’s hard to see where the path ends, unless you’re actually walking it and go far enough to see the next few feet in front of you. The way isn’t clear at the beginning of the path. The blessing of the view of the ocean is often shrouded in fog, yet we appreciate it more when see it clearly less often.
Life can be like that, can’t it? Sometimes we can’t see the blessing in our day-to-day life until we actually start to walk the path that leads us there. We can’t see the beauty that will unfold unless we’re willing to walk through some foggy days.
I knew at an early age exactly what I wanted to do with my life. It was very clear in my heart, in my head and I knew how to get there and accomplish my goals. What I hadn’t taken into account was that God might change those plans. That HIS will might be for me to walk a foggier path so that I might learn to trust Him. And so, I find myself in a place where the next steps are shrouded in fog, and I don’t always see the blessing in the mystery of the journey. I know it’s there, but walking in fog daily, my heart has a hard time remembering the blessing that it cannot see. I’ve learned that walking in this fog creates a journey in which I must trust God, and learn to trust others who walk with God as well. I have learned that in these days when I can’t see the blessing, it’s still there. These foggy trials, these cloudy days, these are those in which we must exercise our faith.
“ Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal. (II Corinthians 4:16-18)
We don’t know the future. We don’t always know exactly what blessing we’re praying and waiting for. We can’t always know what’s on other side of the fog. Yet, we hold on because we know that at the end of the path is a view like none other. We know that our pain on earth is working for us an eternal treasure that we cannot even begin to fathom or dream about.
“No one’s ever seen or heard anything like this,
Never so much as imagined anything quite like it—
What God has arranged for those who love him.”
(I Corinthians 2:9, MSG)
When you can’t see the blessing, continue on, knowing the greatest beauty is beyond the fog.