Saturday, July 30, 2011

Do the clouds of life lead us or confuse us?

A cell phone text sharing a horrible and sad accident, a death in a family, a dear friend's loved family-dog dying, dear friend's holding sadness in their hearts over their son ending up in prison, a marriage gone sour, unwise decisions by men that know better, unwise decisions by women that know better, a baby born prematurely, siblings estranged from each other, parents estranged from their children, another pastor choosing sin, financial crisis, jobs lost,  air conditioners going out creating stress and mayhem, struggles ... clouds fill the air in my little neck of the world.

When I hear of all of these struggles happening all around me, being shared from teary eyes, or quick texts writhe with feeling, I run to God in prayer. I cannot handle the clouds. For me it has always been my avenue of 'helpings'. To walk in prayer for my friends through these struggles, these clouds, I myself must be soaking daily in the Word of God. I must seek Him who IS to show me daily who He is.

I am reminded of the Israelites. Clouds hold great significance in both Genesis and in Exodus. God left a cloud with a bow as a sign of covenant. God lead daily through a cloud in the desert.

  1. Genesis 9:13 I set My bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a sign of a covenant between Me and the earth.
  2. Genesis 9:14
    It shall come about, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow will be seen in the cloud,
  3. Genesis 9:16
    When the bow is in the cloud, then I will look upon it, to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.”
  4. Exodus 13:21
    The LORD was going before them in a pillar of cloud by day to lead them on the way, and in a pillar of fire by night to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night.
  5. Exodus 13:22
    He did not take away the pillar of cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.
  6. Exodus 14:19
    The angel of God, who had been going before the camp of Israel, moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud moved from before them and stood behind them.
  7. Exodus 14:20
    So it came between the camp of Egypt and the camp of Israel; and there was the cloud along with the darkness, yet it gave light at night. Thus the one did not come near the other all night.
  8. Exodus 14:24
    At the morning watch, the LORD looked down on the army of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and cloud and brought the army of the Egyptians into confusion.
  9. Exodus 16:10
    It came about as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the sons of Israel, that they looked toward the wilderness, and behold, the glory of the LORD appeared in the cloud.
  10. Exodus 19:9
    The LORD said to Moses, “Behold, I will come to you in a thick cloud, so that the people may hear when I speak with you and may also believe in you forever.” Then Moses told the words of the people to the LORD.
A promise from a cloud, direction from a cloud. Could it be that God uses the clouds to show us Himself.

There is no doubt in my mind that the clouds created in our lives on a daily basis have the ability to push us further away from God. The family of Noah could have walked away from their faith, the Israelites in the desert could have refused to walk. Bitterness could have taken hold of both situations. 

It is a choice to see God's hand in the clouds. Each of these remembrances written were a process and He is in the PROCESS!

Excerpt from Oswald Chambers My Utmost for His Highest:
What is my dream for His purpose? His purpose is that I depend on Him and on His power now. If I can stay in the middle of the turmoil calm and unperplexed, that is the end of the purpose of God. God is not working toward a particular finish; His end is the process--that I see Him walking on the waves... no success, no goal, just the absolute certainty that it is all right because I see Him (in the clouds - my addition)

May we continue to look for Him in the clouds of our daily ins and outs. May we find His hope that He has waiting for us to enter into.

your mutating missionary

and ebenezer

Tuesday, July 12, 2011