Here in San Diego, winter clouds have rolled in...all beautiful -- whether dark greys or puffy whites, golden yellows or fiery oranges, blushing pinks or soft lavenders. Oswald Chambers wrote a fitting commentary about clouds in the July 29 entry of his classic devotional, My Utmost For His Highest.
In the Bible clouds are always connected with GOD. Clouds are those sorrows or sufferings or providences, within or without our personal lives, which seem to dispute the rule of GOD. It is by those very clouds that the SPIRIT of GOD is teaching us how to walk by faith. If there were no clouds, we should have no faith. "The clouds are but the dust of our Father's feet." The clouds are a sign that He is there. What a revelation it is to know that sorrow and bereavement and suffering are the clouds that come along with GOD! GOD cannot come near without clouds, He does not come in clear shining.
It is not true to say that GOD wants to teach us something in our trials: through every cloud He brings, He wants us to unlearn something. His purpose in the cloud is to simplify our belief until our relationship to Him is exactly that of a child -- GOD and my own soul -- other people are shadows. Until other people become shadows, clouds and darkness will be mine every now and again. Is the relationship between myself and GOD getting simpler than ever it has been?
There is a connection between the strange providences of GOD and what we know of Him, and we have to learn to interpret the mysteries of life in the light of our knowledge of GOD. Unless we can look the darkest, blackest fact full in the face without damaging GOD's character, we do not yet know Him.
Is there anyone "save JESUS only" in your cloud? If so, it will get darker; you must get to the place where there is "no one any more save JESUS only."
Below is my journal entry on the same date for 2009:
"Rejoice indeed when i encounter a cloudy day -- for JESUS is with me, to reveal Himself to me in a deeper, more intimate way. Clouds are the means with which He makes me one with Him. All trials in my life are designed by my Father to make me see JESUS only!"
i was able to own this Reality at last, after a prolonged travail in the Valley of the Shadow of Death -- to thank GOD for everything, no matter the circumstance, good or ill, disturbing or pleasant, joyous or mournful.
i believe that GOD will remove every thing which competes with JESUS in my affections. If i don't willingly surrender these idols which vie for a higher priority in my life, GOD will get my attention with a whisper of His still small voice through His indwelling SPIRIT. And if i turn a deaf ear to His voice, He may resort to something louder and stronger, like a thunderous whirlwind with ominous clouds in tow. But if i truly trust in GOD as Omniscient Love -- truly knowing what's best for me and only allowing what i can bear, and that He will cause all things to work together for my good because i love Him (Romans 8:28), and that He will use even this tumult for His purpose of drawing me closer to Him -- then i can indeed rejoice as these clouds engulf me -- but not overwhelm me...for i have received (by faith) the privilege of walking with CHRIST, hand in Hand, through it all.