July 14, 2009

Seeing God In The Clouds

In grade school, I had to write and present a speech entitled, "Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining." I did write it and I did get a good enough grade. And I truly believe that when talking about troubles and problems, if you are walking in God's will every cloud does have a silver lining.

But when it comes to real clouds...well, I have not always had as positive an outlook as I do with the proverbial clouds. In fact in the past I was a person who despised rainy days. I hated the dreary feeling. As a girl who loves to be outdoors, I hated being stuck indoors. I hated the cold and dampness that a rainy day brings about. Or worse, in summer, the sticky humidity of a rainy day. The worm smell after a storm was a revolting odor. And the mud. Don’t even get me started on ruined shoes from trudging through puddles and mud during the rainy season.

In recent years, I have been working on changing my bad attitude about the blessed days of rain. For, after all, they are a gift from the Lord as well as the days of sun. I am not good at changing my attitudes, though. No. I had to ask the Lord to help me be grateful for all He has given, even the weather.

And as He has promised, “If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it.” He answered my prayers and in stages over the years, I have come to enjoy a good rainy day. First, I saw the rain after a long season of drought, as a blessing to the farmers and yes, our own selves, as our gardens were revived by the cloudy days and much needed moisture. That was when I saw the rain as an opportunity to put aside the daily chore of watering the vegetables and flowers. And eventually, I came to feel the damp and cold as an opportunity to curl up under a blanket with a child and watch a video or read a book. In time, I have even come to look forward to rainy days to do inside things, like bake together and play board games. Such days have become our bagel making days. Recently we even made doughnuts, which I’ve not done in many years.

The Lord has certainly used this spring and summer as a way to test my conviction to be cheerful on rainy days. It has been a particularly wet season. As a matter of fact, we have had some degree of rain almost every single day for months. Our town has had 19 inches of rain in this time, sometimes 2 inches a day! Typically, this time of year we are in drought season and it is not uncommon to be on water restrictions in the city limits. Instead, I have only had to water my vegetables once this growing season!

In light of the long ongoing season of clouds and rain, our dear Pastor gave a sermon several weeks ago that especially spoke to my heart. He, unknowingly, took my conviction and showed me not just how to be grateful for the rain because it is a gift from Him but yet even how to see God through those very clouds.

Our teacher started the message with showing us how the clouds remind us of the God of creation in Genesis 1. And how those clouds were created with a purpose. Just as each of us have been created for and with a purpose. And we are to live our lives with purpose and direction. And how sometimes that purpose changes.

Just as the purpose for the clouds changed when God used them for judgment in Noah’s Day in Gen 9:11-17. We also, see the God of Mercy in the clouds when we realize how long he held off that judgment and the fact that he provided a way of safety and protection for Noah’s family. And in Noah’s clouds God gave him precious promises just as He gives us many precious promises to stand by today.

In Exodus 13:21-23 we see God leading his people in the pillar of a cloud. And in His guiding cloud, the Israelites were able to find protection from the hot desert sun. Much like the way we can find protection from the oppression of this world by hiding in the shelter of our God.

As he took us through the Bible, he shared how Isaiah 44:22 showed us we can see Jesus blotting out our sins like the clouds blot out the sun. If you have ever tried to fly out of San Diego airport in the mornings this is a clear analogy to you. I recall years ago, sitting on the runway for hours and hours because the fog was so thick the pilot couldn’t see to taxi us off.

Acts 1:8-10 Jesus went up in a cloud. But that was not the end of the story because we have the blessed hope. It is found when we read in Revelation 1:7 of Jesus return someday on a cloud to take us home with Him.

Isn’t it funny how God brings similar themes around to us at the same time in our life? The day after this message, my mom, who writes Emma every week, sent her a letter asking her some questions about the clouds. As any respectable home school mom would do, I immediately began a study on the clouds complete with the internet and a visit to our teacher’s supply store for a poster about different types of clouds.

After that sermon, I find myself not only NOT complaining about the clouds, but instead welcoming them.

A short time later, another blogger mentioned about how she has always been fascinated by the clouds and loves to lay and study them. I don’t know if I have come that far but I certainly find a special solace in overcast days now that I seek for my God in them.

And isn’t that the whole point? If we seek for God in all we do, not only will it come out better, but we will have the true joy and peace that we can claim as His children. The longer I am a Christian, it seems the more often than not I see my brothers and sisters spending so much time wallowing in what is wrong with the world (just as I wasted so many years in a funk on rainy days) that they fail to claim that joy and peace that only we as His children can truly know. I am glad that I can now face the clouds with the heart that a child of the King should have.

After reading this post, my sister sent me this great quote. I had to go back and add it here because I think it is so lovely.

"Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain."

9 comments :

  1. We need to remind ourselves daily that we are children of the King, amen!

    I do get tired of the rain sometimes but it's never bothered me much. I guess I'm just used to it.

    But I love how the Lord did a work in your heart!

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  2. I have always loved to look at the clouds and i am always in amazement at sunset at how beautiful they are...I always think, one of these days he is goign to split the eastern skys and come back for me. Oh what a day.

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  3. What a beautiful post! I love a good thunderstorm, but have to pray myself through days of cloudy rain with no sunshine. I will have to come back and read this again next time that happens. Thanks!

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  4. I love clouds and I love the rain. It all started back when I held my first job at a car wash. I was the office assistant/cashier so I had to deal with 300-400 customers every Saturday. I would pray for rain just so I didn't have to go to work and deal with not-so-nice people. The rain just makes me feel warm and fuzzy on the inside.

    Here in NC we are having a drought like you mentioned above but we did get a good, slow shower for probably 3 hours yesterday. God's creations are amazing!

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  5. I have always loved a good thunderstorm and enjoy the rain. We are in the midst of a drought here in our part of Texas and we soooo desperately need the rains. All of the crops are burnt to a crisp in the surrounding fields. Very sad.

    Please send a little our way, Kat!

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  6. Oh Wow Kat! this was great! "Facing the clouds with the heart that the child of the King should have!" what a way to look at everything in all that we do. I loved this!
    christy

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  7. Wow Mom. great thoughts. BTW, speaking of clouds, did u see that book P and N brought emma. Very neat. toatalley unrelated but you should check out K.H.'s blog. he has a great post up (when doesn't he;)
    nana

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  8. What a beautiful post.
    I know speaking with family and friends in MD, you have had LOTS of rain.. may you continue to see the blessings..

    I too have been here. When my heart so ached to live somewhere that was warm, I had to get to a place of surrender and contentment. It was until I could truly give up the desire to move south when God opened the doors to let it happen..

    He is wonderful and faithful and may you find joy in HIM this day!!

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  9. Beautifully written... and so the lessons are so true for both the real and proverbial clouds. Clouds have been special to me for many reasons, but mostly, clouds are a picture of hope to me. Long story.. I will post a blog about it, maybe... They are signs of new life, of the circle of life, of perfect design, of perfect simplistic beauty.. and yes, they are grey and gloomy sometimes, but how much more do we celebrate the sun (ahem Son) when the clouds roll by?
    I adore your blog! ;-)

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