Monday, August 9, 2010

He Comes in the Clouds

A quick look in my Bible's concordance shows a definite correlation between clouds and the presence of the Lord. In Exodus 13:21, the pillar of cloud guided the Israelites; in Isaiah 19:1, He rides on a swift cloud; in Luke 21:27, we will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power; and finally, in Revelation 1:7, Look, He is coming with the clouds! I also seem to remember a mist in the Holy of Holies where God dwelled in the old testament. There may be more, but that's what I found in just a few minutes.

So what do the clouds mean? My daily companion of 2010, Oswald Chambers, says that the clouds that Jesus comes in are "sorrows or sufferings or Providences... which seem to dispute the rule of God." Things like losing a daughter in a car accident, or a son to addiction and homelessness, or seeing my own granddaughter stuck in foster care for over a year while we worked diligently to bring her home with us. Oswald tells me that "It is by those very clouds that the Spirit of God is teaching us how to walk by faith." He goes on... "If there were no clouds, we'd have no faith." (We wouldn't need it!) "The clouds are but the dust of our Father's feet. The clouds are a sign that He is here... God cannot come near without clouds. He does not come in clear shining."

Wow, that rings so true in my life. The times that I have sensed the nearness of God the most have been the most brutal, gut-wrenching, heart-breaking moments of my life that I mentioned above. Oh, there were moments when I sinned and shook my fist in God's face during those times, but He was so gracious and forgiving, so understanding and gentle. When I would finish my ranting and raving, His presence would come so sweetly. He would touch me and heal me and set me on my feet and push me out into the world and say, "Go now and live and love and tell people about me and the hope you have."

Oswald says that "Unless we can look the darkest, blackest fact full in the face without damaging God's character, we do not yet know Him." Ouch! I have looked at some dark, black facts and I have come close to damaging God's character. I've been so angry at him for allowing me to hurt so badly. And yet, he has been so faithful not to strike me dead like the Israelites who complained about the food God provided them. His presence has been so sweet as He has carried me, sometimes kicking and screaming, through the clouds of my life. He has been so loving and kind and near. I don't deserve Him. My Heavenly Father loves me in a way that I don't understand, but I am so grateful. I have come to know Him because of the clouds. I have seen Him in the clouds. And only by His grace have I not damaged His character in my mind and in the minds of others. God, thank you for your grace... And yes, thank You for the clouds.

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I would love to hear from you! Let me know what you think and how I can pray for you. Most of us are carrying some pretty heavy baggage and the good news is, you don't have to carry it alone! You can lay it at the feet of Jesus, and sometimes we need help just letting go of our baggage and not picking it up again. We're in this together!

About Me

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I am a wife, a mother, a grandmother raising her granddaughter. I am blessed with incredible family and friends. I love working for my church and serving on our Women's Ministry Team. I especially want to reach the women who wear their "Everything's fine" smiles on Sunday, but go home to deal with tough real-life issues throughout the week.