When Life Is A Fog, Cling To The Lantern of Light

Embracing The Fog As A Confirmation Of Our Calling

  • Justin Zoradi
When Life Is A Fog, Cling To The Lantern of Light

I'm in a fog. And not just because I live in Portland. The future of my work in Africa, my writing career, vocation, my role as a husband - it's all steeped in mystery so thick and so dark it catches in my throat and unsteadies my breath.

I know great things lie ahead, but at the moment, I only see a few feet in front of me.

Despite the darkness, I believe this fog is telling me something. It’s telling me I’m exactly where I’m meant to be.

The tool of God in times of fog is the lantern. A tiny light, illuminating only a few steps at a time. In times of darkness, we cling to the lantern. One step and then the next. Trusting the light to do its job and solidify our shaky steps.

In the darkness I find myself praying for it all to be revealed. If only I could have the full vision now. See the final chapter at this moment instead of the next.

But total light would ruin the vision. Spoil the skills and ideas meant to be honed, the relationships meant to be built, the conflict we’re meant to endure.

Most importantly, if the house lights are flipped on and the entire journey is illuminated, there is no need for the lantern.

The lantern is the life force. It’s our intimate connection to the Creator. The physical manifestation of God at our fingertips.

Life is hard. The road is long and narrow. The workers are few. We may see more fog than light for years at a time.

But the fog is the entire point. It represents our need for the light and the confirmation of our calling. A life without fog is a life of complacency and boredom. It's reading the last page of the novel and skipping the conflict, climax and resolve.

Are you in a fog? Wish it would all just fade away? Don’t. Cling to the lantern of light. This is the way it’s meant to be. (Click to Tweet)


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Comments (39)

  • Tim Schurrer

    Tim Schurrer

    03 July 2012 at 12:15 |
    It's disappointing when I realize how often I forget to call on God when the lights are on and things are going well. I tend to only grab the lantern in the fog. May we be people that cling to the lantern in the daytime.
    • Justin Zoradi

      Justin Zoradi

      03 July 2012 at 17:24 |
      Ah yes. A new twist. The way we only grab the lantern in the fog. Good stuff Tim.
  • Tyler Braun

    Tyler Braun

    03 July 2012 at 15:28 |
    Love this idea of needing the fog and the darkness in order to see the way. It's quite common to go in every direction possible to try to figure out the right fit, but ultimately we just find ourselves confused. Thanks for this Justin.

    Seems to fit what we were talking about together regarding calling and vocation. The answer is never easy but the darkness is needed to make the light shine brighter.
    • Justin Zoradi

      Justin Zoradi

      03 July 2012 at 17:25 |
      Thanks Tyler! Yep, the darkness makes the light shine brighter.
  • Larry J Rutledge

    Larry J Rutledge

    03 July 2012 at 17:04 |
    This is amazing! You have described almost word for word how I have been describing where I find myself in my journey.

    We know from scripture He lights our path and guides our steps, and I always felt like He only ever let me see a step or two down the road. But of late, the more I've delved into Him and sought His direction it seems to have darkened the path, not illuminated it as I expected.

    I often describe it as this: it used to seem a light shown on the path illuminating my feet and step or two ahead of me; but now I find the light barely lights even my feet. I sometimes don't even see enough light to see which direction to step, instead I can only see I am in the correct spot.

    This is incredibly frightening at times, but the truth is God is not so interested in us knowing where we are ultimately going. Rather, He is interested in us knowing what we are to do along the way. Our journey, our path in this life, is not one of getting to a destination. Rather it is one of taking each step as we are led and then looking to see what we are supposed to do, what we can do, at this place, at this junction in life.

    God is leading us in such a way as to cause our paths to cross others at the most opportune moment. While we are busy straining our eyes to see into the darkness, the "fog", we completely overlook the task God has for us where we are.

    And you are spot on, the lack of light causes us to lean all the more heavily on our Heavenly Father. To trust Him and to seek His guidance and direction. God lights the destination enough for me to know which direction to step, but not enough to see where it will take me.

    Instead He wants me to look at what IS illuminated and find my place, find the work He has brought me to, find the people with whom He has crossed my path.
    • Justin Zoradi

      Justin Zoradi

      03 July 2012 at 17:26 |
      Thanks Larry. Another stellar comment.
  • Hayley


    03 July 2012 at 17:44 |
    I really like black and white conclusions. With them I know how to operate, where to navigate. I love this idea of fog because it is a lot more eralistic to life. I had some recently tell me, "stop trying to srrive somewhere. God is much more concerned with the process."

    It is so true. While we are in the fog He wants to make us more like Him. If the lights were turned on we would think we are Him, and we would start running our lives.

    To find peace in the process is easier said than done, but recognizing that it is actually God's intention to put us in the process, it can hopefully slow us done from rushing to the next landmark.

    Thank you for these words
    • Hayley


      03 July 2012 at 17:47 |
      wow. so many typos. sorry:)
    • Justin Zoradi

      Justin Zoradi

      03 July 2012 at 18:19 |
      Thanks Haley! Appreciate your comments. I didn't even think about the color of fog. But it's both black and white. Good stuff. Thanks
  • Brian Jackson

    Brian Jackson

    03 July 2012 at 18:06 |
    Thanks for writing this, Justin. I've been at a similar place. Life is an adventure, and adventures are never revealed at the start. The hiddenness of our next step, while all too frustrating, is also one of God's great gifts.

    I find that the less I see, the less comfortable I am, and the more I rely on God.

    "Clinging to the lantern of light" takes incredible faith.

    Your post has made me excited about the next step, thanks again!
  • Justin Zoradi

    Justin Zoradi

    03 July 2012 at 18:20 |
    Cheers Brian. Appreciate it! yep, you got it. uncomfortable makes you rely on God.
  • teri


    03 July 2012 at 18:49 |
    Thanks for sharing another great post. I find that walking with a lantern also slows down my pace considerably...while sometimes frustrating, this can definitely be a good thing!
    • Justin Zoradi

      Justin Zoradi

      03 July 2012 at 21:41 |
      Thanks Teri! Ah yes, I love that. It does slow you down. A great thing. Thanks for reading.
  • David Ramos

    David Ramos

    03 July 2012 at 21:53 |
    Well said. This is exactly where I'm at this summer, able to see only a few steps ahead but desperate to have a taste of the comming chapters. This was really encouraging, to embrace and even cherish the fog because of how it moves us to treasury the lantern. Thanks!
    • Justin Zoradi

      Justin Zoradi

      04 July 2012 at 05:31 |
      Thanks David!!!
  • racheAl


    03 July 2012 at 22:37 |
    Your post made me think of this verse: "...His way is in the whirlwind and storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet." Nahum 1:3b

    Thank you for the consistant encouragement to press on where ever He has us.
    • Justin Zoradi

      Justin Zoradi

      04 July 2012 at 05:31 |
      Love that verse racheAl. Appreciate it.
  • Melissa De Soto

    Melissa De Soto

    06 July 2012 at 03:55 |
    I totally get what you're saying about Africa. As a matter of fact, this week I was swimming with a friend & I saw she had a tattoo of the outline of the continent of Africa on her ankle with a heart in it. She told me she loves Africa. Her son is doing missionary work there right now. I thought about Brazil & how God has made that country a part of my history...the passion and desire to serve there is overwhelming, a mystery I don't really understand. I'm getting closer to being able to serve & live there & I'm following the light through the fog. I love the fog becse I know God is faithfully leading me on.
    • Justin Zoradi

      Justin Zoradi

      06 July 2012 at 06:11 |
      Thanks Melissa!
  • Joy


    06 July 2012 at 04:39 |
    Did you write this for the illumination project before we switched to doing video?!?!?! Let's make sure we link to this when we put your video up.

    I think what can be overwhelming is that for some of us there may not be a full lifting of the fog until after this life and so, instead of trying to trust the purpose of the fog or to understand how the lantern works we start to think maybe the lantern is broken or we set it down because we don't think it's useful anymore.
    • Justin Zoradi

      Justin Zoradi

      06 July 2012 at 06:11 |
      Thanks Joy! I did have the Illumination Project in mind when writing this.
  • Greg Poppy

    Greg Poppy

    07 July 2012 at 01:57 |
    That's like Psalm 119:105! Justin, thanks for elucidating this verse so wonderfully. You are amazing!
    • Justin Zoradi

      Justin Zoradi

      07 July 2012 at 07:08 |
      It definitely is Greg. Thanks for reading!
  • Hugh McDevitt

    Hugh McDevitt

    07 July 2012 at 18:23 |
    Hi Justin, I grew up on the coast of California where summer fog is the norm and went to college near Sacramento where winter fog is the norm. I truly love fog! I'm actually enjoying a little fog in my life right now as I'm not sure where God is leading me, but I'm having fun shining the lantern out a few feet in several directions and seeing where those small steps may take me. I sometimes wish I could clone myself and launch in several directions at once!
    • Justin Zoradi

      Justin Zoradi

      07 July 2012 at 19:20 |
      Thanks for your comment Hugh!
  • Mindy Fry

    Mindy Fry

    16 July 2012 at 03:37 |
    Thanks Justin! You are truly gifted at writing and I enjoy reading what God is putting on your heart. It is encouraging to see how you are faithfully pursuing where the Holy Spirit is guiding you and I will keep praying for you and your ministry. It is wonderful to show God working through us to others as we testify as living examples of putting all our trust in Jesus. I find myself sometimes oddly joyful in the uncertainty as I know ultimately God will get all the glory as I continue to walk out in faith. Keep up the good work brother!!!
  • Justin Zoradi

    Justin Zoradi

    16 July 2012 at 19:04 |
    Thanks Mindy! Appreciate it!
  • Keeks


    19 July 2012 at 18:16 |
    Wow. I really needed this. I am looking to make some big, big changes in my life and have been so fearful. But the idea of fog and clinging to the lantern is so comforting.

    Thank you!
  • Justin Zoradi

    Justin Zoradi

    19 July 2012 at 18:58 |
    Thanks Keeks!
  • Jeff Goins

    Jeff Goins

    10 September 2012 at 15:26 |
    I like this.
    • Justin Zoradi

      Justin Zoradi

      10 September 2012 at 19:23 |
      Thanks Jeff! Means so much man.
  • Meredith


    07 December 2012 at 04:16 |
    Great piece Justin. But what if your lantern has burned out?
    • Justin Zoradi

      Justin Zoradi

      09 December 2012 at 00:36 |
      Good question Meredith. I don't know. I think we'd have to figure out a way to relight it. Maybe a good blog in the future....
    • Larry J Rutledge

      Larry J Rutledge

      11 December 2012 at 00:50 |
      I think we can rest safely in the knowledge that the lantern is God and that He will never burn out. However, many times we find we cannot see the light, we may fear it has burned out. But I would venture to say it is our vision which has lost its way, not the lantern losing its ability or power.

      God has a tendency to make us look for Him. One of my favorite stories in the scripture is in I Kings 19:11-12, where God tells Elijah to stand on a mountain and he will pass by. And there was a strong wind and earthquake and fire that shook and broke the place, but it says "the Lord was not in [it]" (not in the wind and not in the earthquake and not in the fire). But it says, "...and after the fire, a still small voice".

      The enemy (being the devil as well as other people and even our own inner critic) is loud and obnoxious and destructive. God often is still and quiet and peaceful. Yes, He can be an angry God and has done some large and destructive things, but when He is leading us, when He is guiding us, when He is instructing us I find He is often still, small, quiet and hard to find.

      I believe He wants us to pursue Him, wants us to listen for Him, wants us to look for Him. When the lantern seems to have "burned out", perhaps we should turn our eyes until we find where the lantern has moved and pursue it.
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