The hidden things belong to the Lord our God,
but the revealed things belong to us and our children forever,
so that we may follow all the words of this law.
Deuteronomy 29:29 (HCSB)
Series Focus: “Piece by Piece”
“The fog is as thick as pea soup!” exclaimed my husband. The reports of limited visibility blasted across every media source. Warnings encouraged the listeners to stay in place until the fog lifts a bit; or if one must travel, take it slow. We live near the Mississippi River. When the temperatures shift, the river surface vaporizes, causing a blanket of fog. Sometimes, you can only see as far as a few steps in front of you.
The period of the fog cover is short-lived. The sun rises, the fog lifts, and visibility is restored within hours. But for a time, the unknown of what’s in front of you can be frightening and suffocating…and beautiful and encapsulating.
The limited ability to see and navigate on a foggy morning reminds me of our journeys during our lifetimes. We rarely see the full picture of any portion of our lives. Sometimes, we don’t know the next step because we’re so blinded by the circumstances. Whether our stationary vantage point is due to paralyzing fear or patient awe, the same truth remains: we can’t see where or how to take the next step.
1 Corinthians 13 is often remembered and quoted as the “Love” chapter. In verse 12, Paul shared this:
For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully, just as I also have been fully known. (1 Corinthians 13:12 NASB)
He compared the limited vision of the current time to the full perspective once he graduates to eternity. In the here and now, all of us only see in part—piece by piece. But in the fullness of time, when we join our Father in Heaven for eternity, we will see the complete picture. No more limits. No more dimly lit mirrors. No more skewed vision. No more fog.
Last week, Jen closed our series, “A Time for Everything.” Our focus verses for that series were Ecclesiastes 3:1-11. The last verse says:
Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. (Ecclesiastes 3:11 NLT)
Eternity—the hope, the vision, the expectation, the promise—lives in every heart that believes and calls upon Jesus, the Son of our Living God! Even so, none have the ability to identify or recognize the work of our Lord throughout all times. We only see in part. We often only see what is right in front of us. So how do we take the next step when we can’t see what’s coming?
Paul provides further encouragement in his second letter to the Corinthians:
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:18 NIV)
We often want the concrete answer—the confirmed next step down a long, visible path. Do I marry this man? Do I take this job? Do I go to this school? Do I seek this treatment? How many children should I have? Where do I worship? Where do I serve? What cause do I join? What step do I take? God leads us, guides us, prepares our steps, and makes a way for us. But He often reveals a small portion to us—step by step.
What we see is temporary. The unseen is eternal. The concrete locates us in the present moment. The everlasting will lead us through faith—not with the eyes of our bodies, but with the eyes of our spirits. Jesus promises His Holy Spirit will lead us in truth. All Truth. No matter the fog. No matter the limited visibility.
As we commit our lives to God and seek Him in His Word, He will show us the things we need to know at the exact moment we need to know them. The Son will shine through the blinding circumstances in our lives. The fog will lift. And the next step will become clear. Join us as we journey through our next series, “Piece by Piece.”
Holding Fast to Hope,
Scripture References: Deuteronomy 29:29; Ecclesiastes 3:1-11; 1 Corinthians 13:11; 2 Corinthians 4:18; John 16:12-15