Have you ever experienced “the fog”? It’s not a literal fog, like when it rains or the temperature changes dramatically. It’s the fog of life, it’s what happens when it seems that everything begins to cave in around you. You feel lost, you feel alone, you feel as if the oppressive fog can actually begin to suffocate you if you don’t find some clarity, if you don’t find some space.
I have a few friends who have been going through an awful lot. One of these friends’ wife and son had cancer. They’ve been cleared for now, but there are always little scares that come along the way. Every status update that I read stops my heart for a split second and that’s what happened the other day. Surgery in their family has become a minor thing considering some of the other stuff that they’ve been through and I wonder how they get through the fog they’re in, I wonder how they can sustain just one more thing.
I have another friend whose wife is being treated for breast cancer, the same cancer that took his mom. They have hope and from the pictures that I have seen, it looks as if they try to laugh as often as possible. I imagine that they are in a fog.
Another friend’s daughter went in to the hospital with what they thought was the flu and hasn’t left since. She has an infection that is being stubborn and inconsiderate, it just won’t leave. He and his wife spend hours upon hours at the hospital. They’re moving towards a potential surgery that they hope will bring some resolution and healing. They are in a fog.
One of my best friends from seminary was burned by a grease fire in Haiti. He was moved to Florida and then back to his home in Iowa to get the best treatment. He has been separated from his kids, has had to have surgery, and is finally being released to continue the healing process. He’s in a place that used to be home, but Haiti is where his heart is. His family is in a fog.
It’s too easy to get consumed by the fog, but the amazing thing as I watch all of these situations play out from my own vantage point is the faith, hope, and love that emanates from my friends. Sure, it’s hard to see in the fog, but they somehow manage to fight the fog with the Light and Hope that they find in Christ. It doesn’t mean that the pain goes away. It doesn’t mean that things are normal and perfect. It simply means that they know that they are not alone.
Can you see the Light in the fog? Do you know that you aren’t alone? Do you trust? Do you have faith? Do you have hope? Those things don’t take the pain and uncertainty away, but when you know the One who gives us faith, who gives us hope, who holds our faith, the fog can sometimes begin to clear or at least there might be a light shining through that thick fog.
I’ve been trying to crawl out of my own fog. I am grateful for the inspiration of friends who walk so boldly before me. I am grateful to call them my friends and grateful that they have shown me faith, hope, and love in new ways. Our hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.