Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Dark Clouds of Life

I'm not necessarily a shade person. I love the warmth of the sun, the brightness a sunny day brings to my heart. Cloudy, overcast days have always seemed gloomy to me.  However, there are times when I've been outside in the sun too long that my body and soul craves the cool reprieve that shade can supply.

From the Book of Exodus through the Book of Isaiah, we are told that God provided a cloud of shade by day and a fire by night for the millions of escaped Israelites.  The cloud protected them from the burning sun during the day time and lead them on their journey.
Yet, in Your manifold mercies You did not forsake them in the wilderness. The pillar of the cloud did not depart from them by day, to lead them on the road; nor the pillar of fire by night, to show them light, and the way they should go. ~ Nehemiah 9:19
But, at that same time Almighty God used the massive cloud to protect and lead them, we find in Numbers, that God went before them IN the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night.
You go before them in a pillar of cloud by day and in a pillar of fire by night. ~ Numbers 14:14b
God was in the pillar of cloud! Not only was He in it, He never took the cloud away from them even when they must have pleaded with Him for some sunshine. The humongous, dark cloud hanging over them must have added to the gloominess and moodiness of their exodus. But, God knew what was best for them. 

He hadn't left them nor forsaken them. 

The "dark cloud that hung over them" was for their benefit!

Us New Yorkers have a saying when some bad things repeatedly happen to good people, we say, "There is a black cloud hanging over them". Is that just a New York saying?

I'm seeing a "black cloud hanging over" someone in a whole new light. 

God is going before them. He is in that cloud. He is trying to get their attention, to cause them to look up to Him. He is trying to get them to see that He is right there with them, in their "black cloud" situation.

It's the same with our gloomy days. He is still all around us, protecting and leading us. A people not forsaken, no matter how "gloomy" our days may seem.

I just had an image of a gorgeous Long Island sunset come to mind.  They truly are magnificent!  What makes them so eye-catchingly colorful is the cloud formations. The clouds are what seem to illuminate and mesh the colors like a beautiful watercolor.

Oh, Thank You Father for Your infinite Wisdom in providing shade to planet Earth. Thank You that You speak to us and reveal Yourself through Your clouds, and beautify our skies with them. Thank You that You are Present in the dark clouds that sometimes hang over our lives and that You teach us through those dark-cloud circumstances; that You go before us, are with us, and that You don't ever forsake us. Thank You!

Because of Him and Unto Him,


Betty said...

Great post Diane. Hummmm, protection from the sun. Good thoughts...we have been in that area of the world, the landscape is made harsh by the hot sun. They would probably would have all died before even getting to the red sea had he not shaded in the day and warmed them by night.

How often we mistake His protection till we are through the trials. so very glad God had man pen down these true life events for us to learn from. Yeah...your post has caused me to look at dark clouds differently. Need to be more thankful for them...blessings my friend.

Diane Ronzino said...

Just from meditating on these Scriptures caused me to look at them differently as well! Praise God for The Spirit of Truth Who opens the eyes of our understanding.

Floyd said...

You know I've never thought about it like that. I too get a tad depressed when it is overcast. Maybe that's why I live in Arizona?
Now that you mention it, even in the dark days, physically and emotionally, I find myself contemplating many things, pondering the things of my life and the things of God... I suspect it's not by accident.

40 years is long time for an overcast sky though...

Excellent post and perspective.

Diane Ronzino said...

You had me laughing, FLoyd. Yes, it is a long time to wait! Bless God that we weren't born in that century!

TC Avey said...

I had never really thought about the clouds like that. Thanks for that insight!
Puts a new perspective on pain and cloudy days!

TC Avey said...

Been checking out your blog- thank you so much for reading my blog posts!
I look forward to getting to know you. After reading a little about you, it seems we have much in common. Follower of Christ, concerned citizen for our nation and those persecuted for Christ, cheerleader for the underdogs, wife/mother/pet owner and lover of quotes.
Very nice meeting you! Look forward to following your blog!
God bless.

Lolita said...

This powerful, Diane.

I was at awe at the majesty of God over the Israelite Exodus. Clouds hanging over them by day and Pillar of light by night. Perhaps, were I one of those tribes, I might be one of those who rebelled. But because I am a present on-looker, I look at this truth differently. I think of how privileged they were then, yet they complain. Now I will welcome the shade because of the damaged ozone layer.... it would send us colder days here in our almost torrid zone....

Spiritually, this is transforming because it signifies the presence of God in our daily circumstances, big or small. I love to tell myself that He is ahead of mine, beside me all the time, or working through me, for me, and with me. IT is a truth that needs to be masticated, chewed at, or squeezed in a juices, to be digested in all its needed spiritual nutrients.

Thank you, D!

Pam said...

I love the image of the cloud over us... and how now, the Holy Spirit is our ever present cloud. I read a wondrous story once in Guideposts about a soldier in the war. A faithful prayer warrior at home in the U.S. was awakened one night and prayed for hours, and at one point began urgently asking the Lord to send a cloud over him. Right at that moment he and his platoon were in an open sunny field, sitting ducks for an ambush. Suddenly a cloud came and covered them just as the enemy began to attack. They were all able to escape to safety without being seen. Miraculous. Good post, Diane.

Veronica Shticks said...

You kept popping into my mind today as after I read this great post every time I stepped outside the clouds were beautiful!

Diane Ronzino said...

Welcome to an encouraging word, TC! Thank you for coming by and reading me. That is awesome that we have so much in common. And I, too, look forward to getting to know you.

You will get to know some awesome men and women in our Circle of Sharing. You will be blessed by their lives and their words!

Diane Ronzino said...

I, too, may have been one of the "complainers" - get me out of here! God, in His Infinite Wisdom, had me in this generation, born a gentile.

I love what you wrote, Lolita: I love to tell myself that He is ahead of mine, beside me all the time, or working through me, for me, and with me. IT is a truth that needs to be masticated, chewed at, or squeezed in a juices, to be digested in all its needed spiritual nutrients.

Amen and Amen!

Diane Ronzino said...

Wow, what an awesome story, Pam! Holy Spirit inspired prayers...Thank God we can pray in The Spirit! I had a similar experience this week. Not about a cloud though.

On Monday, I was interceding for my pastor and her family as she brought forth a powerful message at the women's meeting on Saturday. I knew the devil would be angry. So, I prayed in The Spirit for a long time. The only words I prayed in English were, "Spirit of death you must pass over!"

I found out later in the day, that she was in a car accident right after dropping her daughter off at school. Her car is a total mess, but thank God, the spirit of death passed over! She was hit by an uninsured driver. The best was there was a police car right behind my pastor. He saw everything and was right there to take care of things.

We should never underestimate the power of Holy Spirit led prayer!

Thanks for sharing that story, Pam!

Diane Ronzino said...

Hi V! I'm so glad it made you more cognisant of the clouds. They can be so beautiful, can't they?

I love to "destress" by staring at the clouds - finding "pictures" in them - you know, one that looks like a flying pig, etc. LOL!

Thank you for thinking of me! I think of you often! Hugs to you!

Pam said...

That story is beautiful, Diane! Yes, those words you spoke in English were like her cloud of protection, let alone whatever the Spirit was praying through you! I love that! Very encouraging for all of us prayer warriors...

joy said...

Very inspirational post. Thanks for sharing that no matter our situation is; God is there for us, cloudy or sunshine:)

Diane Ronzino said...

Oh, good, Pam, I almost didn't write that to you. I didn't think of it as a cloud of protection. Thanks! WAHOO!

Diane Ronzino said...

Hi Joy! Thanks for reading and commenting. And yes, God is here for us - cloudy or sunshine! WAHOO!