Thursday, May 29, 2014

Cloudy with a Chance of Sun

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.

1 comment:

  1. I love this observation from Chris. I've never noticed it. God dwells in the dark cloud too. That surprises me. I expect a God who is Holy, Righteous; to chase away the darkness, eclipse it, to swallow it up. I certainly never expected that he would dwell it.

    But, as many things in the Bible, I think God gives us this picture more for us than he does for Him. He "knows our frame and remembers that we are dust". (Psalm 103:14). He knows WE live in the dark clouds so many times in our lives, lost in our circumstances; many times unable to peer above them.

    When we can see that beautiful horizon with beams of light bursting into the glorious throne of God, as Chris did, that is heavenly.

    But what about when we can't? Sometimes the intimacy with God in the dark cloud WITH you can be just as glorious as the throne room. I know it is for me. It gets me through.

    I have thought about this illustration so much. Chris shared this at church too. He added another amazing point this has stuck with me and inspired deep gratitude to God for relationship with Him. He mentioned what we UNLEARN in the cloud is far more important than what we learn. We UNLEARN all the junk. We learn that at the end of the day, it's Jesus. It's only Jesus. That's all that matters. I love the cloud. Thank you Chris for this great message!