November 23, 2012

Finding the Familiar in the Fog

Hebrews 10:19-25

Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together … but encouraging one another…
—Hebrews 10:24-25


Fog can make it hard to identify the landmarks around us. But there is something that can really help: familiarity.

When I lived in Sacramento and encountered fog on the freeway near my house, I rarely had trouble finding the exit where I got off to go home. That’s because the area was familiar to me. But if I were to find myself shrouded in the same kind of fog in another town, I might have had a lot of trouble getting where I needed to go.

Something similar happens in the spiritual fog that can surround our lives. When clouds of doubt or shame or weariness threaten to blind us to God’s love for us, it can be easier to find our way back to God’s peace and guidance if it’s not the first time we’ve tried to find him.

That’s why spiritual disciplines can be so important for our faith. Habits such as prayer, Bible reading, serving, meeting together for worship, and more can help us become familiar with the spiritual territory through which we’ll someday need to travel in the fog.

Struggling for God through the fog of life can seem like a lot of work. But then—so does feeling lost.

God is out there in your fog. Keep squinting.

Lord, help us as we seek you. May we develop healthy spiritual habits so that we become familiar with you. Amen.

About the author — Ron Vanderwell

Ron Vanderwell recently became the senior pastor of New Life Church in New Lenox, Illinois. He has been a pastor for 22 years, serving as a church planter for the previous 12 years at The Gathering in Sacramento, California, and before that as a pastor in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Ron and his wife, Deb, have three sons: John, Adam, and Jake. Ron shares more of his reflections on “squinting” for God in his blog at

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