At present, here at our house we are facing a situation which brings with it an element of uncertainty about our future. Beyond a certain point, we’re not sure what changes might be forthcoming. But as I was pondering this challenge I happened to be on a coastal island and took a picture of the vast marsh surrounded by fog. This post from a few years back came to mind, and I am once more reminded of God’s faithfulness when our sight is limited.
Staying on a coastal island, we arose early and went to ocean front windows to take in the view.
But there wasn’t a view.
Thick fog hovered along the ocean surface and invaded the beach.
We were socked in.
So where did the term “socked in” come from?
According to this source, it dates back to 1944. “It’s basically derived from pilots and traffic control workers. The thought is, while looking across the airport runway to check out the “windsock” to see which way the wind is blowing, if you can NOT see the windsock, you are “socked in” with clouds and have no business flying!”
And sometimes, spiritually speaking, it feels like we’re socked in. We can’t see the windsock or the water or how in the world God is going to do what he said He would do.
“Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!” (Luke 1:45). These words spoken by Elizabeth to Mary affirm Mary’s belief that what God had told her would happen despite the seeming impossibility of it all.
An angel had announced to the virgin that she would give birth to a baby. What’s a teenage girl to think about that?
Mary’s response was to believe it.
At times, as I’ve stared into the fog of a circumstance, I’ve found myself quoting the father with a spirit-possessed child in Mark 9:24, “I believe, help me overcome my unbelief.”
Jesus met his frank admission with compassion and brought deliverance to the child.
Priscilla Shirer says that God doesn’t call us to do hard things, He calls us to do impossible things. That can often mean believing when we cannot see.
One of my heroes in the faith is George Mueller. In one of my favorite stories about him told in Streams in the Desert, he found himself socked in on a boat off Newfoundland traveling from England to Canada. After spending twenty-four hours on the bridge trying to navigate the tremendous fog, the captain told Mueller that he would miss his appointment on Saturday in Quebec, that it was impossible to reach the coast in time. Here’s what happened next.
“'Very well, if your ship cannot take me, God will find some other way. I have never broken an engagement for fifty-seven years. Let us go down into the chart-room and pray.'"
“I looked at that man of God, and thought to myself, 'What lunatic asylum can that man have come from? . . .' 'Mr. Mueller,' I said, 'do you know how dense this fog is?'
'No,' he replied, 'my eye is not on the density of the fog, but on the living God, who controls every circumstance of my life.'"
"He knelt down and prayed one of the most simple prayers, and when he had finished I was going to pray; but he put his hand on my shoulder, and told me not to pray. 'First, you do not believe He will answer; and second I BELIEVE HE HAS, and there is no need whatever for you to pray about it. . . Captain, I have known my Lord for fifty-seven years, and there has never been a single day that I have failed to get audience with the King. Get up, Captain and open the door, and you will find the fog gone.' I got up, and the fog was indeed gone. On Saturday afternoon, George Mueller was in Quebec for his engagement."
So, that’s the kind of faith I want. And I’m pretty sure, you do, too. So, together, let’s stop looking at the fog and put on our eyes on God “who controls every circumstance” of our lives. Lord, help our unbelief.
Beverly Varnado is the author of several small town romances from Anaiah Press including her latest, A Season for Everything. All are available at Amazon. A memoir, Faith in the Fashion District, from Crosslink Publishing is also available as well as her other books, Give My Love to the Chestnut Trees and Home to Currahee. She also has an Etsy Shop, Beverly Varnado Art.
To explore the web version of One Ringing Bell, please visit bev-oneringingbell.blogspot.com
Beverly Varnado copyright 2022