Reading Time: 5 minutesThe Ministry Of Clouds
“Thou shalt shut the door upon thee and upon thy sons” (2 Kings 4:4).
Sometimes, when we look at the dark storm clouds in the sky, we are tempted to run away and hide somewhere. We tend to just think we are just dealing with the laws of nature. But do we really need to hide from every cloud in our experience? Could it be that Jesus has a special place for ministry when all is dark and foreboding?
The people in our opening verse were to be alone with God, for they were not dealing with the laws of nature, nor with any human government, not even with their beloved church, nor the priesthood, yet still not even with the great prophet of God. But we all need to be isolated from time to time, from all creatures, from all leaning circumstances, from all props of human reason, and swung off, as it were, into the vast expanses of clouds in the sky, hanging on Jesus alone, and always in touch with the Fountain of miracles. This is a part of the program of God’s dealings, a secret chamber of isolation in prayer and faith which every person must enter that is very fruitful. Some might look at it as a cloud. Can’t do anything. Cant go anywhere. Don’t know who or what to trust. These kinds of clouds make it seem like there is no way out. No chance of survival.
There are times and places where God will form a mysterious wall around me, sometimes even using these clouds in my experience to cut away all the things I so readily rely upon, that I really do not need to because God has something better for me. And that something better is often found in the clouds. The darkened places where we cannot make a move. Isolated. Alone. The ordinary ways of doing things seems almost offensive. When God isolates me somehow, and shuts me up to something Divine, which is utterly new and unexpected, something that old circumstances do not fit into, where I do not know just what will happen next, where God is cutting the cloth of my life and times on a new pattern, well, He makes me look to Him, the One who makes the clouds.
Most of us Church people tend to live in a sort of fretful, treadmill kind of life, something like the lowly Hamster going round and round in their wheel, where they can calculate and control, almost everything that will happen in their life.
It is apparent in Scripture that the souls whom God leads out into immediate and special dealings, He also shuts them in where all they know is that God has hold of them, and is dealing with them, and that their expectation is from Him alone. And yes, sometimes, most times, God is in the thick dark cloud.
Like many Christians before us, like many of the Bible greats, we must be detached from outward things, and many things that surround us, and attach inwardly to Jesus alone; in order to see there in our darkest clouds, His love, mercy, and grace within our own personal experience today. Even in the hardest trials God often makes us aware of the best discoveries of Himself. But being human, oft-times we see the following coming true:
“People see not the bright light which is in the clouds.” (Job 37:21)
The world actually owes much of its beauty to clouds.
The unchanging blue of our Canadian skies hardly compensate for the changeful glory of the clouds. Clouds also are the cisterns of the rain, if you will. Earth would become an uninhabitable wilderness if it wasn’t for the ministry of even the darkest of clouds.
“…People cannot look at the light when it is bright in the skies [without being blinded], when the wind has passed and cleared them” (Job 37:21, AMP)
There are also clouds in our human experience, our personal life being fraught with the angry, foreboding shadows of clouds. But, why not think of it this way. Clouds provide us with shade, refreshing, and sometimes draping everything in our life in the deep blackness of night; and we will sometimes call it “the midnight hour of our experience.” Certainly, in Mat 24, and other places, there is a midnight mentioned that ends up with Jesus coming in the clouds of heaven in all His glory and Light. So there is never a cloud without its bright light.
“I do set my bow in the cloud!”
He gives us many such infallible reminders of His Light.
If only I could see the clouds from the other side where they lie in their brightened glory, bathed in the light that they intercept, like heaped ranges of mountains here in Hinton,we should be amazed at their amazing, billowy display.
From here, at my point of view, I look at their under side; but how do I describe the bright light that bathes their summits, and searches their valleys, and is reflected from every pinnacle of their expanse? Is not every drop drinking in health-giving qualities, which it will carry to the earth?
People of God! If we could see our sorrows and troubles from the other side; if instead of looking up at them from earth, we could look down on them from the heavenly places where we all sit with Christ,(Eph 2:6); or if we knew how the clouds of our experience are reflecting in prismatic beauty before the regard of heaven, the bright light of Christ’s face, I think we would be very content that our clouds should cast their deep shadows over the mountain slopes of our sometimes fragile existence.
The one thing I am constantly reminded of by the clouds that I photograph, is that all clouds are always moving, and passing before God’s “cleansing wind.” Could it be something like this for the Christian? Are there great waves of God’s grace, mercy, and love that move away your clouds, giving you the cleansing, sustaining Light of Heaven?
Elihu, in Job 37:21 concluded his speech with the tremendous truth that faith in God is far more important than Job’s desire for an explanation for his suffering. He came so close to helping Job but then went down the wrong path. Significantly, it is here that God himself breaks into the discussion to draw the right conclusions from this important truth.
Like the brightness of the rising sun; Jesus, the Light of the world, will break forth through the clouds of your experience, to give you a greater revelation of Himself. As Scripture tells us:
“…the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind” (Job 38:1)
Don’t fool yourself that just because all you see are clouds that God is not there, for Scripture tells us much different:
“Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was” (Exodus 20:21).
We often hear today people saying “Stay Safe.” The Bible always has the perfect solution to all these types of problems. Hang onto Jesus. Don’t let go. Don’t walk away. For Jesus alone is THE Light in your clouds.
“The LORD is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalms 27:1)