by Christine Sine
For the last few days, Tom’s and my morning walk has been through a fog-shrouded landscape. As we did so, we talked about our respective experiences of fog from our childhoods. For both of us, the fog felt embracing and comforting, a welcoming presence of closeness and comfort.
You’re my place of quiet retreat and your wrap around presence becomes my shield as I wrap myself in your word. (Psalm 119:114 TPT)
This was part of the reading that I came back to after that first fog-shrouded walk and it seemed to describe exactly what I had experienced. The fog can be a place of quiet refuge for me. Sounds are muted. Sights are distorted and perspectives change. Familiar horizons disappear and the path ahead is unsure.
When I walk in dense fog, I don’t look for the horizon, I keep my eyes on my feet and the next step I need to take so that I don’t trip and fall. Every now and then I look up searching for signposts that help me know I am still on the right path but I need trust to believe that the horizon is still there. I also search for the sun shining palely through the mist hoping that it will help orient me so that I can see my way.
It reminds me of what our world is currently experiencing. Uncertainty, murky horizons, unsure steps ahead but if we look around, we see that the fog we seem to be living in is actually God’s wrap around presence that can provide a place of quiet retreat. Our eyes should be focused not on the horizon of the future we cannot see, but on the next step God is asking of us. All we need to look for is that next step which will stop us tripping or falling. As in a real fog, we need to trust that the horizon is still there and will once more appear when the light of Jesus the Son shines brightly through the mist.
Then when the fog clears, it often reveals a bright and glorious day. In fact, I think that there is a special brilliance to a landscape that has been blessed with the gift of morning fog. That revealing moment is probably my favourite moment of fog filled day and I wait in expectation for the glory it will reveal. So I wonder what will that moment look like when the fog we are living in lifts? What are we hoping for?
I love this imagery and throughout the day have found my thoughts returning to its embracing and reassuring message. As the sun has emerged, I find myself rejoicing in its warmth and its loving embrace, but I am also filled with an inner warmth that the comforting embrace of the morning fog generated.
We often confuse fog with smog. In fact, when I went looking for information on the benefits of fog, all that my Google search connected me to were articles on the detrimental health impacts of smog. When life is uncertain and the horizon is obscured ,we think it is bad for us, when God is really saying, “I am your place of quiet refuge, my wrap around presence is your shield.”
What Is Your Response?
Sit prayerfully in the presence of God. Take some deep slow breaths in and out. In through your nose, out through your mouth. Sense it flowing into your lungs, and throughout your body into the places where uncertainty and fear have made your muscles tense. Relax your shoulders, your forehead, your jaw and anywhere else where tension resides for you. Recite the scripture several times:
(God) You’re my place of quiet retreat and your wrap around presence becomes my shield as I wrap myself in your word. (Psalm 119:114 TPT)
Now, close your eyes and listen to the music below. Imagine the embracing wrap around presence of God’s comfort surrounding you. What do you feel God is saying to you in the midst of this?