One day in 1872, a ship crossing the Atlantic from England to Canada was caught in a dense fog off the banks of Newfoundland. Captain Dutton had been on the bridge for twenty-two hours without a break. An elderly passenger came up to him, tapped him on the shoulder and told him he had to be in Quebec by Wednesday. It was now Saturday. The captain said it was impossible. The passenger said that in that case God would have to find him some other means of transportation because he had never missed an engagement in over fifty years. The passenger’s name was George Muller.
Mr Muller suggested he and the captain go down to the chart room to pray. The captain wondered what kind of lunatic asylum the man had come from. “Don’t you know how dense the fog is?” The reply came back, “My eye is not on the fog, but on the living God who controls every circumstance of my life.”
Down in the chart room, Muller got down on his knees and prayed a very simple prayer the captain thought was more appropriate for a child. Yet when he finished, the captain himself felt he ought to pray. Muller put his hand on the captain’s shoulder and told him not to. “First, you don’t believe God will answer; and second, he already has. Get up Captain, open the door and you will find the fog has gone.” Muller reached his appointment on time. And the encounter changed the captain’s life.
At 93 years of age, Muller was still looking after two thousand orphans from his base in Bristol, as well as supporting missionaries and Christian efforts all over the world. He never once asked for money. His secret was what he told the captain: “I have known my Lord for forty-seven years, and there has never been a single day that I have failed to gain an audience with the king.”
Muller had learned a secret from Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 4:18: “We fix our eyes not on the things that are seen but the things that are unseen.” Two words for seeing are used. The first (“fix our eyes”) is skopeo, from which we get the words scope, microscope and telescope. The second (“seen”) is the ordinary word for unaided natural vision. What is right in front of us can be seen by the natural eye. But spiritual vision sees what cannot be seen any other way. There is a difference between shooting by natural eyesight, and shooting using the scope of a high-powered rifle. There is a difference between looking at an unidentifiable smear on a piece of glass, and examining it under the microscope. There is a difference between going outside at night and gazing at the stars, and examining those stars through the most powerful telescope on earth.
Two men stood side by side on the ship’s bridge. One saw himself in Quebec on Wednesday, the other saw only the fog in front of him. By the grace of God, the fog disappeared that day not only from the waters of the Atlantic. It also disappeared from the life of the captain.
Don’t expect God to clear the fog just to make life easier for you. Don’t expect him to do nothing more than facilitate your personal agenda. Muller knew the will of God for his life because long before he had submitted his life to the Lord.
When you walk in obedience to God’s will, God is committed to fulfilling that will in your life. In other words, he will always clear the fog to get you to the place he wants you to be.
Have some fog in front of you right now? You know what to do. Seek an audience with the King.