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March 27, 2021

I woke up in a fog the other day and had been in one ever since.  Have you ever been in a dense fog?  I have been in a few dense fogs, especially in the Blue Ridge Mountains, the mountains of Costa Rica and the Cloud Forests of Costa Rica.  But the worst fog I have ever experienced came on our farm.  I had come back from North Carolina to do some deer hunting on the home place.  This particular day I was hunting on our neighbor’s land (I had permission) and the rain started coming down.  There was snow on the ground, and it was starting to get dusk and I was probably ¾ of a mile from the house.  Visibility was starting to get poor so I thought I would head in early…  but it wasn’t early enough.  The fog came in strong and thick, and I couldn’t see but a few feet ahead of me.  Nothing looked familiar and was not sure what direction I was going.  I finally found the creek that goes through the back of our property but wasn’t sure which way to follow it.  I followed it a little way but then realized the water was flowing in the wrong direction so I turned around but wasn’t sure how far I had gone… and the fog was thicker.  My glasses were now fogging up, I was shivering, and anxiety was settling in.  I stopped, prayed and tried to get my bearings.  I realized that if I kept walking, I would eventually hit a road, unless I was walking in circles.  I moved forward and soon came to a culvert and a path across the creek and I immediately knew where I was.  The path would lead me right to the house and I shortly thereafter emerged from the fog.
“Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord!’  But he said to them, ‘Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.’   A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them.  Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you!’  Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here; see my hands.  Reach out your hand and put it into my side.  Stop doubting and believe.’  Thomas said to him, ‘My Lord and my God!’  Then Jesus told him, ‘Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.’  (John 20:24-29)
“Finally Jesus says, ‘Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed’ (verse 29).  Jesus is saying, essentially, that we don’t need to see him with our physical eyes in order to come to full, life-changing resurrection faith.  And, while Jesus says we need not have the same eyewitness experience as Thomas in order to believe, we need to make the same discovery that Thomas made.  We need to see Jesus patiently at work in our lives to bring us to himself.
In C.S. Lewis’s children’s fairy tale The Horse and His Boy, the main character, Shasta, is trying to escape from a foreign land and get home to Narnia.  On his journey, however, everything seems to go wrong.  He keeps running into wild lions that threaten him in various ways.  At one point in his journey, he finds himself in a fog and senses a presence guiding him through it.  There is a voice that begins a conversation with him.  Shasta speaks about his journey and says, ‘Don’t you think it was bad luck to meet so many lions?’
‘There was only one lion,’ said the Voice.
‘What on earth do you mean?’…
‘I was the lion.’  And as Shasta gaped… the Voice continued.  ‘I was the lion who forced you to join with Aravis.  I was the cat who comforted you among the houses of the dead.  I was the lion who drove the jackals from you while you slept.  I was the lion who gave the horses the new strength of fear for the last mile so that you should reach King Lune in time.  And I was the lion you do not remember who pushed the boat in which you lay, a child near death, so that it came to shore where a man sat, wakeful at midnight, to receive you.’
In this story C.S. Lewis is remembering his own journey to faith from being an atheist.  As you draw nearer to faith, you realize that the God you are coming to believe in is never passive.  Jesus is alive, he is risen, and he is actively seeking you.  Like Thomas, you may come, in amazement, to see that he was walking right beside you all the time.”  (Timothy Keller, Hope in Times of Fear)
Today I am emerging from the fog.  Many times, in my life I have come to realize that when I am in a fog (mentally, emotionally, physically), God has been right there beside me.  We may not realize it; but God is working in our lives in many ways.  When we are in a fog, we need to pause and pray, and we will be given the guidance to go forward.  Trusting in God’s guidance will help us emerge from the fog.  Trust that God is with you in whatever fog you may be in.  You will emerge a stronger person.  God bless and God’s got this!

About Rev. Bud Budzinski

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