Dear Foggy Faith,
WORDS & PHOTOS | JESSICA BILLS
LETTERING | SAM PALENCIA
I know you too well. When the morning greets, you stay in bed, and with each roll under the covers you attempt to remember your purpose for waking up. You reach for your phone, coffee, a shower, Netflix - anything except God’s daily letter to your soul. You think getting up will help, so you walk around the house, so empty, so purposeless. No one in that house can fill up that cup that your soul carries, and your thirst is deep.
Your day goes on, you fill your schedule so you don’t have to go to God to fill the void in your heart. You fill your stomach with snacks so you don’t have to surrender your stubbornness to your Savior’s filling. You fill your head with music that soothes you, so you can ignore how empty you are.
In the Psalms, God’s word is described as sweeter than honey. So what does that make these other things? Let’s call them “artificial” fillings. These things can be good things, but they are not thirst-quenching things. Friends, boyfriends, girlfriends, family, church family, social media, nature, shopping - list your idols, oh thirsty one. How long do they satisfy you for?
This is me and I am trying to satisfy my soul’s thirst with temporal means.
I’m done living in a foggy state of faith. Let me explain.
I was at a women’s retreat with my church this past weekend and the speaker, Kris Smith, used a metaphor that perfectly explained my stubborn independence from God.
You’re on a mountain, driving up, and all of a sudden fog rolls in. This isn’t a machine made kind of fog, this is a blinding bright fog. It’s seems all consuming. It’s everywhere. You can’t see your hand in front of your face. Moving forward could kill you. At least, that’s what it seems like.
To your right is a drop-off, to your left is the wrong side of the road, and you can’t stop driving for fear of hitting or getting hit by another car.
You stick your head out the window so you can see the yellow line in the center of the road. You take it slow; inch by inch, centimeter by centimeter. You begin to climb.
Where is the comfort of your coffee in this? How can Netflix help your safety? And what will validation from your relationships really do in this?
You keep moving forward.
Your idols become void. In this moment of heightened fear, you have to keep moving and you have to put your faith in something. In the foot of sight you have in front of you? In your ability as a driver?
Eventually, with time that you did not want to give, you will make it above the fog. Because above that layer is the sun and it shines so bright that as long as you keep moving towards it, the fog will be burned off. The fog can’t hide from the light.
When we don’t let God fill up our cups, we rush through intimate time with Him so we can be in a place where our feelings make sense. But see, feelings are not truth and the fog is not where we are meant to dwell. We are uncertain, we are scared, but we refuse to move out of the fog and into His light. Maybe we don’t really believe His promises. Maybe you’re like me and you’re too independent and stubborn to surrender to Him daily. But wherever you’re at in your faith and insufficiency, you can’t escape the Light.
Our faith will continue to dwell in that fog if we keep letting our feelings beat out His word. So my dear sweet Christian, please read Psalm 139. As my friend says, God’s word is honey, all this other stuff is artificial sweetener. Read this chapter out loud on your foggiest days and meditate on it. Let Him fill your head, heart, and soul with satisfying truth. Here’s a snippet of this psalm:
If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,” even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you. (v. 11-12)