November 18, 2012

The Need for Fog

Psalm 1

That person is like a tree … whose leaf does not wither…
—Psalm 1:3


In theory, Psalm 1 shouldn’t have to be in the Bible. The unsatisfying things it warns against are all so … unsatisfying! Who would want to rely on something unreliable? And God’s promises are so rich and deep and lasting, like underground rivers. Choosing to rely on God should be a no-brainer for people like us—right?

And yet it’s not. Psalm 1 is badly needed. I know that when the fog of busyness or stress creeps in, I can suddenly find myself surprised and confused about where I need to turn to get what I need. That leaves me open to distractions and temptations.

But why the fog? If life weren’t so foggy, God wouldn’t be so hard to find, right?

Interestingly, there are trees that require fog in order to survive. The coastal redwoods in California thrive in environments with very little rain but regular times of dense fog. When fog hits, water drips off the tree needles, which point down to the ground. If the fog stopped coming, those majestic trees would have a hard time. The cold mist of the coastal fog is necessary for them to thrive.

In our lives, we need to stay constantly connected to God in order to thrive. Rooted in the Lord, we will flourish. Challenges and confusion may come, and we need to stay in touch with God, but we can trust that he will continue to provide for and guide us also.

Lord, you know what kind of weather we need to thrive. Schedule the forecast we need. We pray this in your name. 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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