Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A Cloud With My Name On It

A dense wintry-grey cloud cover colored the sky this morning, that which was heavy and dull like the old woolen army blanket that we keep in the back of the truck.

In the Bible, God used a cloud by day to guide His people through the wilderness.  What did they do when the skies were as murky as these?  Was there but a single cloud in the sky to designate their direction?

How is a gloomy sky supposed to navigate me through my day and the forks in the road ahead?  Where do I go from here, surrounded by such a mystifying haze?

I contemplated these questions as I began my tasks for the day.

Follow Me.
Trust Me.

And when I looked up, streaks of impossible pink were painted all over the sky.

The sky reveals not where,
nor what,
nor when.
       But God alone.
"I am with you."

God does not hand out highway maps
        or print out His directions,
   each turn in the road,
   every ramp,
   the rest areas,
            the flat tires ahead.
He never intends for us to see
                         too far ahead,
so that the destination doesn't become our focus,
so that the road itself does not become too difficult,
            nor dismay cause a detour.
How will I ever endure that?
How can I ever keep holding on?

Because He goes before us.

The journey itself is a strengthening.
And along the way,
           trusting God transforms me into a different person
     than who I am now.
He changes me.

His ways are not determined by the prevailing winds
               or even by the visible light at the moment.
I don't have to pack fear in my lunch,
but lace up my shoes
and just take the next step,
    trusting God
    whether the sky is brilliant
                        or overcast.
There is a reason for it.

And along the way,
everyday is written as another story of God's faithfulness,
            not just when we get where we're going.

FEAR NOT should be written in capital letters
                       in my Bible.
"I am with you," He promises me.
What part of that do I not understand?

There is not a cloud with my name on it,
     but an entire universe with His.

Dismay is looking all around me
             and not to the One who holds me
             in the palm of His hand.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
and do not rely on your own insight.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
      and He will make straight your paths.

                             Proverbs 3. 5-6

Fear not,
        for I am with you,
be not dismayed,
        for I am your God;
I will strengthen you,
I will help you,
I will uphold you
        with My victorious right hand.

                              Isaiah 41.10

And the LORD went before them
by day in a pillar of cloud
     to lead them along the way,
and by night in a pillar of fire
     to give them light,
that they might travel by day and by night...

                              Exodus 13.21

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