Mothers for Prodigals

Sunday, September 14, 2014

God Lives in Your Clouds

The cloud covered the mountain; it was God’s glory.
And God called down to Moses, “Come up to Me on the mountain and remain there.”
Leaving everything behind, Moses walked toward it, alone. 
Mist and light like tiny diamonds fell upon him as he climbed upward.
The dampness wet his beard and hair, the air felt fresh and cool
As tiny patches of blue sky peeked through with warm touches. 

“I’m coming, Lord,” Moses yelled as he trudged the steep mountain. 
Keeping his eyes forward and upward, he climbed. 
He climbed through the haze, the fog, the mist surrounding him. 
Suddenly the denseness of the cloud began to distract him. 
He wasn’t sure which way to go. 
Off to the right hung a cliff—what if he fell? 
Rocks dotted the landscape—what if he stumbled? 
Did danger lurk nearby—what would he do if.....?
Fear shoved him in the chest and temporarily stopped his journey.

He got on his knees and prayed. 
“Come to Me,” he heard Him say. “I am here.”
Moses arose and followed the voice.
Cautiously forward, Moses told himself, keep going forward 
And upward, look upward and trust the Lord God Almighty. 

The Lord patiently waited for Moses.

“You called me, I know You’re here,” Moses said to God.
The silence in the cloud was deafening and doubt wormed its way into his mind.
“God, you are here, right? You called me to come up, right? Where are you, God?” he yelled.

The eerily quiet territory caused Moses to wonder 
Until he entered the glory of the Lord. 

And Moses patiently waited for the Lord. 

Finally the Lord called to Moses on the seventh day.
In the midst of the cloud, the glory of the Lord, the presence of God, 
Moses and God communed.
Love and compassion, grace and mercy soaked Moses’ heart.
Peace exceeding understanding permeated his mind.
He knew, without a shadow of doubt, God existed and cared for His people, for him.
Nothing else mattered but experiencing God.
God was in the clouds, even the stormy ones.
When clouds gathered, God was present
And joy bubbled within the man of God.  (based on Exodus 24)

Do clouds hang over you, dripping with doubt and confusion, fear and pain? Do you allow them to obstruct your view of God? Do you give in to the murky circumstances of your life, expecting only misery? Do you think you’re all alone?

At certain times in my life, I have allowed dark clouds to muddle my mind with doubt and fear. Worry fills in the empty spaces and my stomach churns. Fear tries to reign until I focus on Jesus. Only then does His peace prevail in my heart and mind. 

Moses, like all of us, experienced cloudy days and defeatist emotions. Can you imagine all the negativity he dealt with, the personalities he struggled with, the responsibility he carried, possibly the doubt that entered his mind when he and the Israelites wandered for forty years in the desert. As he trekked up Mount Sinai to God’s cloud of glory, he probably had misgivings and uncertainty about God, but he kept going, not deterred by the surroundings. He positioned his eyes on the Lord God with complete trust. And God didn’t let him down. He was present and Moses experience His presence. God’s promises of provision and protection were laid out and His peace rained down. Glory filled His cloud!

What was Moses’ response when the cloud surrounded the mountain? He heard God’s call, walked upward toward God, and delighted in His presence.

What will you do when storm clouds gather? I pray you’ll seek the Lord with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength. Then enter into His presence, and receive His peace. 

You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. Psalm 16:11 (NIV)

[Jesus Appears to the Disciples] While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” Luke 24:36 (NIV)

And now receive God’s blessing, given for you as it was to the Israelites:

“Tell Aaron and his sons, ‘This is how you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them: 

‘“The Lord bless you
    and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine on you
    and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you
    and give you peace.”’

“So they will put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.” Numbers 6:23-27 (NIV)

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