It first appeared as a ground clinging fog, slowly waffling into my soul through a crack opened by the things I was pondering—really, fretting over. At first the fog seemed beautiful in its own way, a distraction of sorts, quietly floating into my heart and soul, but then my feelings began to change. This gentle fog now seemed ominous, like the fog in one of those B horror films, sinister, foreboding. The fog began to billow up, forming great damp clouds, no longer clinging to the ground, but rising higher and higher, growing thicker and thicker, blocking out the horizon, narrowing my field of vision, bringing a damp chill to my heart and soul - blanketing those markers of life, love, hope, faith that keep me grounded, and provide the bearings I use to navigate life. Its thickness muffled my cries, stifled my feeble protests, soon I was overcome, set adrift, alone, helpless. The day was lost to me, my heart gripped by an unshakeable malaise.
What was fueling this debilitating fog? What gave it power? What was its name? It was not until the next day, as I sat with my spiritual director, that I realized what that fog was – it was fear, and not the passing fear that springs up when someone begins to swerve into your lane on the freeway, or when you lose sight of your child, grandchild for the briefest of moments – those fears tend to dissipate as quickly as they appear. No, this was a strong, unshakeable, I-know-how–this-world-works-this-is-not-going-to-turn-out-well fear. A perfect fear that has the ability to eclipse the prefect love of God that sends fear packing and the peace that only God provides.
My fear, which was a realistic fear, was intensified because of my knowledge of the world and by unwillingness to let go of what I wanted as the outcome of a particular situation. I was demanding something from God rather than asking for something and expressing my ultimate trust in God with the words not my will, but God, your will be done. It was my unwillingness to let go of my agenda that fed my fears causing the fog to grow to the point that, at least from my perspective, the sun was not able to break through, leaving me to wander in a self-created isolation.
The issue is still there, the jury is still out regarding what the outcome will be, and the fog still lingers, but the sun is shining and I am learning to release this to God, reminding myself that I am not in control, recalling to mind who God is, as well as his promise that all things will work together for good for those who know God and are called according to God’s purposes. There is a peace that is growing more and more solid; there is still a preference for how this will all turn out, but there is a greater trust in the goodness and character of God, in the power of the resurrection and the hope that is mine in Jesus, all which is burning more brightly today than yesterday.
What about you? Are there things in your life that deeply concern you, birth fear within you, things that you have an invested interest in how they turn out – yet have no real control over? What would it look like for you to begin to hand that over to God, to trust God with the outcome? One thing I found as I began to let go of that which worried me was that I was once again able to hear the voice of Jesus in the situation, to sense the promoting of the Spirit and begin to be proactive rather than reactive and play a role as God would give me opportunity to do so. As I said above the situation I am concerned about remains the same but now God and I are walking through it together and when the fog begins to billow up I fear not for God is with me, and God is good.
Ask God to help you begin to release whatever it is that births the perfect fear within you that blocks out your experience of God’s perfect love. Remember it is a process and you may need to do this again and again, but God is faithful and God is with you and NOTHING separates you from God's love for and presence with you.
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