“All in a Sunrise”

sun_burst_with_rays_form_clouds_vector_267255The chilly, clammy wind was blowing, chasing clouds across the sky. That coupled with the ocean’s ebb and flow filled my being with sound that I could feel. Powerful. The sun had just made it’s grand appearance, seemingly out of the water. The fullness of it rapidly ascending to join the clouds. The enormity of the glowing orb made feel so small. I couldn’t look directly at it. It wasn’t long before a bank of clouds came and covered it, then I could gaze on it’s splendor. There before my eyes rays of light shone from behind those clouds, creating a celestial vision. You know the scene, you’ve seen it even where you live or in magazines or on media? The cloud covered sun’s rays spreading in all directions, covered but definitely still there! I longed for the sky to split open and reveal that dazzling staircase that would lead me home. As the vision filled my senses I felt a stirring in my spirit.

I wondered if trying to look at God was like that. I could only bear to look at the cloud covered brilliance with rays reaching out. The enormity of the uncovered sun though bore down into my soul. Blinding, painful, yet filling every sense with wonder. I had no choice but to look away. I immediately thought of how often God’s glory *is described as a cloud. I thought of Moses, after he spent time with the Almighty. The people would beg him to cover his face so they could look at him. I thought of when the Tabernacle was completed and God’s glory came as a cloud filling and covering it. How when the God cloud moved, the people would move. When He was still they were still. I thought about Jesus, how His death immediately rent the veil that separated man from the Holy of Holies. Then something soaked into my soul along with the warmth of the sun. Jesus became the veil. Jesus became the cloud covering through which we can see God. Because He is God. His own mother looked into the face of God. Like Adam and Eve, the people of Jesus’ day, walked and talked with the living God. It’s mind blowing. It’s awesome.

I will never view clouds quite the same. Seeing dark thick clouds covering the sky usually mean storms and rain. Oppressing. But rest assured. Just as the sun is still there burning behind those clouds, so is God, He’s not hiding. Your troubles are blocking your view. But He’s there in the midst of your most violent storms. Sometimes clouds are just enormous, white visions that meander across the sky. Peaceful. We’re aware of the suns heat yet welcome the dimness as they drift across the blaze, leaving us able to gaze up at the Heavenly scene. And sometimes, sometimes, it’s just clear sailing! We’re totally aware of His presence, warm, shining, and bright. Praise Him!

Clouds. They come and they go. There is One I long for though. It will be used to transport Him who is the Light to gather His own unto Him.

(Clicking on the blue underlined text in the body of this post will take you to verses of Scripture. Please, take time to read them…)


And Behind Door Number…


These days even small decisions drive me crazy but the life altering type? Forget it.

I remind myself of our cat, Solomon. He’ll sit at the door meowing to go out, I open the door and he, barely sticking his nose out, does an abrupt about face. No sooner do I close the door and walk away than he’s right back at it meowing. This happens several times before he decides to sashay through the opening. It’s maddening! I will confess to gently shoving him out when I don’t have time to placate him. I wonder if God feels this frustration with His children.

I’d prayed for release from a situation for years. In the process of being freed from it I too, fraught with anxiety, would turn and run back through the open door before it closed.  Part of me clung to what I sought to leave. I had obsessed and wavered over it for so long that I didn’t know how to function without it. Then without warning it happened. I was tenderly pushed across the threshold and the door slammed shut. I pressed my back firmly against the door, with my hand clutching the knob. There was a gaping hole in my heart and black nothingness lying before me. How could so many years be for naught?  In fear, I tried yet again to turn back but the door was locked.  Then the answer washed through me.

I had allowed the situation to become an idol. I believed Satan’s lie that walking away equaled failure. In reality, staying in it was the mistake, a costly mistake. I believe going through this was necessary to teach me that trusting God is the most important decision I will ever have to make, the rest will follow. I couldn’t see that until I walked through the door God had held open. I turned back to face the emptiness but instead saw promise and the freedom to be who God made me to be.

Are you holding on to a doorknob today? Take heart! Deuteronomy 31:8 says, “The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” God patiently holds the door open for you, take a peek, and trust Him. He’s already crossed that threshold and stands waiting for you to follow!

Compel Tip: I used, “Escape the Trap of Tired, Typical Writing” by Lysa TerKeurst

Patti Hemphill
May 2015