February 2, 2012

driving in a fog

"living without faith is like driving in a fog." unknown

in charissa world, departure time equals 5:50 every monday, wednesday, and friday morning as it takes almost a full hour to drive to the rehabilitation hospital where i am completing my clinicals. let it be known that i am not a morning person, but i am typically wide awake after my hour of coffee, prayer time, and singing and dancing with myself in the car.

most mornings are typical and uneventful as i make my hour-long transition down the interstate and into the land of the living. yesterday morning, however, was a different story as i walked outside my door and into the deepest fog that i've ever seen. it was so thick and dense that i thought for sure that dementors had surrounded my apartment complex. i got into my car, turned on my headlights, and prepared for a long and slow journey.

when i got on the interstate, visibility was about 10 feet, and i began to feel dizzy as i tried to see the white lines and to stay in the right lane. after about 5 minutes i started getting frustrated. i felt like it was hard enough to wake up at 5:00 in the morning and to make this drive, and now of all things there was this thick fog clouding everything around me. and i became so frustrated that i verbally said, "LORD, would YOU please lift the fog?"

i felt completely alone in the middle of the big white cloud that wouldn't let me see ahead or let me know where i was, and i felt totally lost even though i knew exactly where i was intending to go. so being a faithful woman, i believed that surely GOD would answer my prayer, and being an impatient woman i waited a solid 5 minutes for HIM to do so. but after 5 minutes nothing had changed, and i was feeling dizzier and more frustrated than ever.

but right then, in my moment of annoyance and distress, a random truck came up out of nowhere and pulled up beside me. he passed me and then got directly in front of my little car, and the light from his tail lights totally cleared the fog directly in front of me and allowed me to see what was coming and where i was going. the rest of the fog didn't immediately clear, but i was able to continue on my journey safely by the light of my new, fearless guide.

and as i drove the 60 some miles to my destination, i couldn't help but compare my light in the fog to the SPIRIT of GOD. at bible study on wednesday nights we've been talking some about the HOLY SPIRIT and HIS role in our lives. and i think the analogy of driving in the fog is perfect for describing the purpose and action of the SPIRIT that dwells with us every day.

the reality is that GOD allows fog to fall on all of us at different times in our lives (matthew 5:45), and a fog can confuse us and mess up our path even when we know exactly where we are intending to go. we can feel totally lost and alone, even when we felt completely confident and sure of our direction just moments before.

sometimes the fog comes suddenly out of nowhere, and we are highly in tune with and aware of its presence. sometimes the fog develops over time, and it takes other people pointing it out for us to realize what it is. but when it comes, it tends to surround and cover everything around us that we consider precious and dear. it clouds our vision and makes us question who we are and the direction that we thought we knew.

sometimes the fog just won't seem to clear. and sometimes GOD doesn't clear the fog, even when we ask. but HE instead has given us a helper, comforter, and advocate to bring light to our confusion (john 14:16). HE has given us an inner light and guide to help illuminate and direct our path. and whether the fog eventually begins to clear or if the struggle through the fog never ends, the light never changes and is always there, directly in front of us. and if we follow closely, that light will always lead us straight to HIM.

"likewise the SPIRIT helps us in our weakness. for we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the SPIRIT himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. and HE who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the SPIRIT, because the SPIRIT intercedes for the saints according to the will of GOD. and we know that for those who love GOD all things work together for good, for those who are called according to HIS purpose." romans 8:26-28