It’s morning, so I unfold from my blankets and walk my still-pajama’d self down the stairs for coffee. On the way down the steps, as always, I cast a sleepy gaze out the large window above our front door. This window offers glimpses of what awaits after my morning coffee: rays of streaming sun or snow-covered trees or hints of green on waking-up branches.
But on this day, I peer out to see nothing. In seventeen years of repeating this ritual, I have never seen nothing.
A rare, thick fog has crept across the sidewalk and camped itself over our front lawn, cocooning us in. My sons pour cereal and I sip coffee and we all keep peeking out as we prepare to leave for the day. As we heave backpacks and lace shoes, still no hint of sky appears. It’s disorienting.
My youngest son and I walk to school on days when the weather is good. Today’s weather category is literally unclear — but after some debate, off we go. Not being able to see the full sidewalk ahead of us changes our familiar ten-minute stroll. Our steps slow and we get to school tired.
The journey is a lesson: Not being able to see changes the way we walk.
This seems like the perfect time to tell you that I sometimes worry about running ahead of God. We’ve had conversations about this, He and I. So often I pray: Lord, help me to stay in step with you. When I hear what He asks of me, I like to race off, striving to earn His love and thinking I can see what’s ahead.
I actually did that once.
I was seven or eight, heading to a lights display with my parents and grandparents. With excitement, I pointed at the lights ahead and, walk-running in my moon boots (they were cool then, thank you very much), I grabbed my dad’s hand. . .but when I looked up, I saw a stranger’s face smiling down at me. Terrified, I dropped this stranger’s hand and turned around to find my family. They’d been watching. I was fine. But I had such a hard time getting over the scare that I didn’t even enjoy the lights I’d run ahead to see.
So, on this clouded day of keeping slow pace with my youngest, I wonder, do I still run ahead? Do I follow the bright and shiny things, letting go of Who is by my side? Do I still grab onto the wrong things?
In the most mysterious way, this fog is sharpening my view. How can clear skies and straight roads give way to a fog that brings clarity?
I recall those times I’ve felt most connected to Him — when physical limitations kept me from walking; when emotional wounds forced a season of slow healing; when “no” landed unexpected and hard. Those were times I couldn’t run ahead. I could only be still. Why is it, when I can’t see, I feel Him closest and hear Him loudest?
In 1 Corinthians, Paul wrote, “Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely,” (1 Corinthians 13:12, NLT).
This wisdom about seeing imperfectly is written by the man who literally went blind when he met Jesus. This is the same man who ran ahead of God for years, carrying a self-appointed banner for God while persecuting Jesus. He believed he could see perfectly — until he met Jesus.
For three days, he waited and prayed in darkness. After Ananias prayed over him and restored his eyesight, he emerged proclaiming Jesus. In the midst of Paul’s blindness, Jesus changed his heart. Paul began to see clearest when he could see the least. Paul knew first-hand what it meant to see that only God sees with perfect clarity. From then on, he held a deep understanding of how it is God alone who offers us perfect sight.
Walking through the fog alongside my youngest, we fell into a beautiful, unspoken rhythm of staying in step. Our limited view offered a peaceful reliance and truth: Seeing less with our eyes invites us to see more with our souls.
And, if seeing less means staying in step with Him, then may we welcome the fog that holds our souls close. Because, I don’t want to run ahead. I don’t want to be distracted by what’s bright and shiny.
I don’t want to grab the wrong hand…I want only to grab God’s hand.
But He knows where I am going. And when He tests me, I will come out as pure as gold. For I have stayed on God’s paths; I have followed His ways and not turned aside.
Ariel Krienke says
I don’t want to grab the wrong hand. I only want to grab God’s hand. Such beautiful message. Me too. I may seem picky but I really don’t want to be swayed by the world. I don’t want to erase or add to any of the Lord God’s words.
Kathy Francescon says
Amen!! Amen, dear Sister!
YES! Thank you for sharing your heart — all the amen’s. Perhaps it’s not “picky” but instead, knowing His standards and purposes, it’s not settling. May His words always rise above. May we always choose His hand.
Becky Beresford says
Loved this story and imagery of walking hand-in-hand with the One who knows the way. Thank you, Marnie for encouraging us so slow our pace for the good of our souls. Beautiful, my friend!
Becky, it was a timely reminder again for me today, too. And truly my constant prayer: May we not get ahead of Him, but stay in step and trust. Thankful to share the journey and slow my pace with you, my friend!
So beautifully written.
Madeline, what joy to know this encouraged you!
Marnie, thank you so much for this. It makes my own “fog” a little less daunting.
Cheyla, the fog is disarming, isn’t it? It catches us off guard. But I will never see fog again without thinking of this sweet time of slowing down and seeing more clearly. He is in it with us. Thank you for sharing your heart.
Ruth Mills says
What a beautiful picture of our temptation to run ahead of God! Amen! May we only desire to grasp God’s hand! Thanks for sharing Marnie!
Ruth, that temptation is real, isn’t it? When we think we know where He’s heading, we get so excited…and then… Grasping His hand with you, friend!
Your imagery is so vivid, that it helps me to slow down and wait on the LORD to lead me. To be still before the LORD
is good for my soul.
Yes, often times, it is easy to run ahead of the LORD’s timing and plan.
May I see less with my eyes and more with my heart. AMEN.
Thanks for sharing, Marnie.
Shanta, it was foggy again in my neighborhood when this post went up. I believe He wanted me to remember that day and what it meant — it took me back immediately and settled my heart all over again. Your words are my prayer: may we see less with our eyes and more with our hearts and souls. AMEN.
Jennifer Wier says
“And, if seeing less means staying in step with Him, then may we welcome the fog…” This is so beautiful, and it strengthens my heart in the face of the unknown.
Jennifer, it’s a hard prayer, right? Those unknowns are a thing. But not only is He with us in the fog, He can see through and past it. Thanks for sharing the slow trudge with me, my friend!
Sue Fulmore says
I love this reflection Marnie – thanks for inviting us in to slow and see from the heart.
Sue, thanks for sharing this encouragement, friend! I’ll join you daily in accepting that invitation: let’s keep slowing and seeing with our hearts.
Cheryl C. says
Your story spoke to me! It reminds me of a song “If We Had Your Eyes” (praying to God). We would be able to see things more clearly. Thank you for sharing. God bless you and the gift that you are sharing with the world!
Cheryl, thank you for sharing this — I’m so thankful it resonated with you! And I’m going to go look up those lyrics. It sounds like such a powerful reminder to know He sees all, especially when our earthly view is so limited and yes, foggy. Blessings to you, too!
Beth Williams says
I believe that when we can’t see the path ahead we turn to God for answers. We cry out to Him for help & listen for His still small voice. People want to know the next steps on their journey. God doesn’t always tell us. Sometimes He expects us to just obey & follow Him. Jeremiah 29:11 is my life’s verse: “For I know the plans I have for you” declares the Lord. “Plans to prosper you & not for harm. To give you a hope & a future.” Grabbing the hand of Jesus today while waiting to hear about my next job.
Wow, this is so powerful and encouraging!
Brittany Reiling says
Oh my soul needed to read this today! I have been feeling called to a new season of life by God, and have recently felt so frustrated that things are not moving as quickly as I hoped. What a great reminder to pray to stay in step with him and to not run too fast towards the “shiney” future you are being called to.