I love the sun.
I love the beauty of it when its light bends around the horizon, painting the sky like an artist’s canvas. I love the warmth it brings (to clarify, not the 117 degree warmth of Phoenix, just “normal” warmth).
Uncharacteristically, I found myself driving east this past week in the early morning (remember I am a musician…mornings aren’t generally my thing).
As I was driving, I was looking out at the horizon and the sun was up just far enough that the bottom edge of that beautiful orb just kissed the horizon. It was glowing bright and beautiful and yellow, and there were just enough clouds gracing the horizon that it captured the colors like a beautiful sunset, only it was morning! It was absolutely gorgeous!
And as I looked at it, I noticed that there was what looked to be a beam of light coming up from the top of the sun, shooting toward the skies and filling what I imagined to be the throne room of heaven.
It was awe inspiring. I marveled at the majesty of God and His creation. It was beautiful. And I was reminded of how much I like sun (after winter and spring in Oregon, I need to be reminded).
Just as I like the warmth and glow of the sun shining in the sky, I like the warmth and the glow when my life is sunny. You know, when there really aren’t any problems more than just a few wispy clouds on the horizon. When I just get to live life and it goes the way I want it to.
Later in the morning as I was doing my quiet time, I was reading in the book of Kings about the dedication of the Temple that Solomon built.
When construction was finished, he called Israel together to celebrate and dedicate the Temple. They sacrificed upwards of 150,000 animals, they worshiped, they honored God.
1 Kings 8:10-11 says, “When the priests withdrew from the Holy Place, the cloud filled the temple of the Lord. And the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled his temple.”
I got to thinking about the cloud. In my mind I pictured a nice, pretty, white fluffy cloud. But in the next verse Solomon says, “The Lord has said that he would dwell in a dark cloud.”
Wait. A dark cloud?
I don’t like dark clouds. I like sun.
But what Solomon says is true. When things are dark and rough and hard; when my soul, in desperation, cries out for the presence of the Living God. That’s when he meets me in a personal, life-changing way.
Whether sun or clouds, they’re both the presence of God. They’re both incredible. But they are different. And I know that I need both of those moments.
The beauty is that God is in both of those moments. And that leaves us with the ability to sing “Hallelujah” no matter what our circumstance.