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When the Fog Sets In
By Joel Osteen - Jan 17, 2013
A good friend of mine is Jeff Hackelman. He and his wife, Eileen, pastor Family Faith Church in Huntsville, Texas. When we were in high school, Jeff drove down to the Gulf of Mexico to go fishing one day like he had many times before. On this day, he and his friend decided they were going to try fishing somewhere different. As Jeff was launching the boat, he asked the man at the dock how to get back to that place from the gas wells. The man said, "We're directly north. If you're anywhere around the gas wells, just go due north, and you'll make it back to this dock." Jeff and his friend traveled an hour in their little boat and arrived at their destination. They were having so much fun and catching so many fish. They didn't realize that a heavy fog had set in. It happened so quickly that it caught them off guard. They could only see 20 to 30 feet in each direction. It was getting kind of late. The sun started to go down, and Jeff was a little concerned. He told his friend, "Pull up the anchor, we've got to get going." Jeff looked around to try to get a sense of direction, but all he could see was fog. All of his logic said, "We need to go this way." He asked his friend which way he thought, and his friend said, "No, Jeff, it's not that direction. It's the other direction." Now, Jeff was really confused. He got his compass out. Due north like the man at the dock had said was a different direction than both of them thought. Against all sense of reasoning, Jeff cranked up the motor and started traveling due north. Everything in his mind told him, "You're making a big mistake. You're going the wrong way. You'd better turn around." He kept thinking about what the man at the dock said. "Go due north, and you'll make it back. The boat crept along through the fog. He travelled 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 45, an hour. Now it was dark. A voice started telling him, "If you were going right, you would already be there by now." Jeff's friend started panicking. He started yelling at Jeff. "Turn the boat around. You're taking us out to sea. We're going to run out of gas. We could get killed." In spite of all these confusing voices, Jeff kept traveling due north. Another 30 minutes. Another 45, another hour. Just before they ran out of gas, they began to see the dock faintly coming into view, and they made it back safely.

Sometimes in life, the fog will set in. You don't know which way is the right direction. You know God's put a promise in your heart. But, every voice tells you it's not going to happen. You're too old. You've missed too many opportunities. You don't have the connections. In the foggy times where you don't see anything happening, that's when you have to dig your heels in and say, "God, I'm going to believe what You promised me in spite of how I feel, in spite of what people are telling me, in spite of how it looks. God, I'm going to keep acting like what You said is true no matter how long it takes. I'm going to keep believing You're on the throne. I know You're a faithful God. What You promised You will bring to pass."

"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you…" (Isaiah 43:2, NIV)
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