by Nan Jones @NanJonesAuthor
The dark ominous clouds billowed along the crest of the mountain ridge. I watched from the sanctuary of my front porch, eager to see the progression of the storm, eager to know that as sure as the sunrise the darkened sky really would return to its aura of light.
Lately, my life has seen far too many days with threatening skies and fierce, howling winds. At times the pain felt relentless, billowing over me like a heavy, wet blanket of endless tears. Torment of my soul towered above me like the pillar of clouds I watched on the horizon, creeping closer, overtaking the light. Would it ever end? Would the carefree days ever return where laughter was easy and song as close as the next breath? Or would I live out my days in this frightening, blackened state of my heart?
The darkened sky turned to an inky black as the storm intensified, rain veiling the landscape with a foggy tulle. I pulled my shawl tighter around my shoulders to guard against the chill. I sat with a stubborn heart, determined to hear from God about the ferocious storm that had consumed my life. I wanted to move forward. I wanted to live again. But the angry shadows and tentacles of the enemy’s torments kept me bound.
So I sat. And rocked. And watched the storm travel across my mountain.
At its darkest, blackest moment I could see a hint of light on the western fringe embellishing the puffed edges of the clouds – the proverbial silver lining to a frightening storm. The silver lining spoke of the ever-present sun – the one that never moved from where the Lord hung it in place. It was there all along. But the clouds had rolled past and hidden it from view.
God is like that. He is ever-present just as He promised. But sometimes the darkened clouds and intense rainfall of tears veils Him with a foggy tulle and we listen to the lies of the enemy and believe him when he says give up, this is all there is.
But God doesn’t say that. He promises that His thoughts towards us are thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give us a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11). He promises to speak to us out of the whirlwind (Job 38:1). And He said He would dwell in the dark cloud (1 Kings 8:12).
That’s pretty amazing, isn’t it?
We think of God as all things light and lovely, not dwelling in the dark cloud. But the cloud is dark because of His light. The darkness is but a shadow of His brilliance and when my world is consumed in the black of night and a torrent of tears, I can know that my God is near. Just as He promised.
Just as the sun is ever-present behind the storm clouds, beckoning to hope with its silver lining, so is my God.
I rocked with a steadfast rhythm and watched the sky. The storm was passing by and in its wake was a replenished earth teeming with water droplets from heaven’s hand. The sky slowly returned to its shades of ethereal blue with streaks of sunbeams reaching to the earth. The storm had moved on.
My storm is moving on too. Is yours? It seems like the pain will last forever, but it won’t.