Mothers for Prodigals

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Within the Cloud

A cloud covering encircled the mountain, filled with God’s glory.
God called down to Moses, “Come up to Me and remain here for a while.”
Leaving everyone behind, Moses started up the mountain alone. 

“I’m coming, Lord,” Moses called out as he trekked the steep peak. 
Keeping his eyes forward and upward, he climbed, 
Through haze, fog, and cloudy moisture.
Cool, damp air hemmed him in. 

Eventually the dense mass distracted him. 
He wasn’t sure which way to go. 
What if he fell off a cliff?
What if he stumbled over rocks?
What if he confronted a wild animal?

Fear gripped him.
His mind filled with uncertainty. 
“Help me, Lord,” he cried.
You called me to come up, right? Where are you, God?” he yelled.

Silence, deafening silence,
Days of quiet, nights of doubt. 
“God, I need you,” he screamed. 

His mind conflicted with anxious memories of Pharaoh and the Egyptian army until….
Remembrances of rescue and the parted sea rushed in, delivering peace. 

Slowly Moses moved forward, clinging to thoughts of God’s faithfulness. 
“I put my trust in you, Lord,” he prayed.

Moses continued the journey.
Finally the Lord called out to him on the seventh day.
“I am here,” God said. “Come to Me.”

Immediately Moses perceived God’s presence.
He knew he wasn’t alone.
The glory of the Lord overfilled the cloudy mist.

Love and compassion, mercy and grace soaked Moses’ heart.
Peace exceeding understanding saturated his mind.
He knew, without a shadow of doubt, God existed and cared for His people, for him.
Nothing else mattered but experiencing God.

When the clouds gathered, God’s presence intensified. 
Within the cloudy haze, God reigned
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? Are they obstructing your view of God? Do you feel abandoned and alone?

At times in my life, I have allowed dark clouds to muddle my mind with angst. Worry has filled in the empty spaces, causing my stomach to churn. I’ve lived in fear until turning my focus onto Jesus. Only then did 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 in the desert? He had plenty of time to doubt God as he and the Israelites wandered forty years. 

Trekking up Mount Sinai to God’s cloud of glory, he probably fought feelings of uncertainty about God with the assurance he knew about His Deliverer. With intentional trust, Moses positioned his eyes on the Lord. He experienced God's peaceful presence within the cloud of glory. 

Are you battling feelings of fear and doubt? Do you feel as though you are confined by storm clouds? Seek the Lord God with all your heart, mind, and soul. Allow His Son Jesus Christ to deliver you from worry and uncertainty. Enter into His presence and find joy. 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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