We were driving home a on a warm, sunny January day after two days of enjoying the blue skies in Pittsburgh. Not too many miles past Midway, a digital information sign warned us to slow down. Despite the mostly sunny conditions, there was fog ahead, it said.
Before long, we encountered another sign. Take care, it warned, heavy fog in six miles. The sun was still shining. Then, we encountered more signs. Heavy fog was still ahead and it was getting closer. The afternoon was still mostly sunny, and the road had a few wet spots.
Maybe the weekend staff hadn’t been able to update the signs, I thought. Maybe, the fog had cleared. We drove on. Miles passed. There was still no fog.
Then, as we began the climb toward the Tuscarora tunnel, I saw a bank of low hanging clouds in a valley. Not long after that, another sign advised slowing down. Heavy fog was ahead.
Then, as we rounded a corner, we suddenly found ourselves driving on a wet road in a heavy fog. I tucked our car a safe distance behind a truck, and followed its lights through the worst of it. The signs had been telling the truth all along.
Truth works that way.
Truth is true even if we can’t see it. Truth is true even if we don’t like it. Truth is true even if we can’t believe it. Truth is true when we deny it. We may keep living on half-truths, or denied truths, but in the end, truth shows itself to be truth.
Year after year, Israel prayed God release them from bondage. Did God not care? Was that the truth? Then one year, truth showed itself: God heard their groaning and he remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob, the Bible says. The Lord got Moses to help him, and together they told the truth that love does not rest until God brings about our best.
God would go on to give us ten simple commands. God would send his people into exile and bring them home again. God’s Son would take up his cross, and God would raise him to life on the third day. God does not rest until God brings about our best, and that is why truth is so precious. Truth is what keeps us from becoming our own worst enemies, guides us through the fog of self-serving fiction, and sets us free to live a truly human life.