Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The clouds are the dust of His Feet

"He spread out clouds to shelter them..." Ps.105:39 (Moffat) emphasis mine
"The LORD has His way
In the whirlwind and the storm
And the clouds are the dust of His feet." Nahum1:3

How often do I pray He will take the clouds away?  Clouds of pain, clouds of illness or incapacity or difficulty. Clouds of circumstances that drive me to Him. Unknown dangers are lurking at my door - but He is sheltering me from them; it just so happens that the method He is using is a cloud.

The clouds spread out above me, threatening me, but shall indeed, as Cowper said, "break with mercies on my head."  They are not, the Word tells me, clouds of trouble and doom, but protection from a loving Heavenly Father to His child.

Those whirlwinds that so frighten me, the tempest in a teapot that steals my peace - they are all one and the same : the LORD having His way.  I personally think He delights in those whirlwinds and storms  that keep me from becoming complacent and taking Him for granted - and on some days I am convinced He is up there dancing up those clouds and whirlwinds with me in mind, whistling a happy tune.  He knows one of the quickest ways to bring me to Him are to have a little tumult going on.

Because, you see, clouds are murky, swirly stuff, hard to see through. When they hug the ground, they are called "fog". They creep you out, blot out the usual landmarks,  make you nervous.  They are cold and wet, and have the capacity to make your life miserable.

I have been in San Francisco and the Cleveland Nat'l Forest mountains when fog at its worst has occurred.  Driving is in essence Russian roulette - can't see the center line, can't see the outside line, can't see the traffic signal until you are upon it. You need to go very slowly and watch the tail lights of the car ahead to help figure out where you are. Most people know better than to go it alone on such days - especially in the mountains - where the roads are windy and slippery and are sculpted by a sheer cliff on one side. People know to take it slow and think before they move (well most people do...) Without guidance it would be easy to go over the edge - but there are reflecting guard rails that warn of impending danger.

And it is just those things, happening in our spiritual lives, that His clouds guard us from - we need to hold onto His hand when we can't see clearly, slowly going one step at a time - and if we don't look to Him, it is too easy to crash right through His heavenly guard rails and over those cliffs.

So from now on, I am going to try to remember that the clouds I'm so afraid of  are not out of control. The LORD will have His way with them, and will use them to give me a future and a hope.

One of the best things about living in the desert, to me, are the monsoons.  Glorious towering clouds begin to form and sharp winds twist and turn and blow things over.  Thunder booms and shakes the very foundations of the house, lightning cracks the scalding sky and the refreshing rain begins.  And since finding these two verses, it has become very comforting to me to know that there, right above my head, is the dust of His feet.

And sometimes, from an airplane, you can see the holes His feet leave, punching through the clouds in the top 25% of the photo

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