I’m a cloudy kind of person. Something in my soul shuts out the light inside me like clouds that hide the view. But when the shadow passes suddenly it’s as if the glory of the sun explodes inside of me. Going beyond the clouds I find everything brilliant again and the view clear.
Gloom is part of my life, shadowy and rainy. But so is brightness. My clouds at times stormy, other times reflective seem to melt away as if the sun’s rays filter through each molecule of my being and sadness dissipates. I get impatient for dreary moods to lift. I’m not sure I like being a cloudy person.
We’d been in our vacation apartment three days. The view of waters blending into sky outside was a mystical mix of fog and damp. Even without sunshine, it was breathtaking. My soul drank in every snapshot as I walked past the windows.
The fourth day my husband woke me with an excited, “The sun is shining and there are snow-capped mountains.”
During our sleeping hours, the moist air lifted, and behind its heaviness the Alps stood robed in snowy splendor. In sparkling sunshine, those mountains shone majestic, breathtaking.
The funny thing is, we had no idea they were even there.
“How long?” King David asks of God in Psalm 13. “Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?” (Psalm 13:1; ESV)
If we had stayed only three days in that little apartment, we would have never known what splendor day four had to offer. One day less and we’d never have seen what waited behind the clouds.
There are times in our lives when we can’t see, we can’t fathom what is hidden. Sometimes it is just a matter of waiting, and whatever blocked the light dissipates. Other times, the clouds don’t lift, and we will never know in this short life, why the Lord waited so long.
The Apostle Paul reminds me there is certainty behind my clouds. My past is redeemed, my present rests securely in Him, and my future is settled.
“For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.” (Romans 8:22-23; ESV)
Without day four, my husband and I would have left believing our little home away from home had a beautiful view, calm and tranquil. We would have been content with what we saw. We would have eagerly said, “It’s a gorgeous panorama, go see it if you have the opportunity.” But it would have only been with day three knowledge. We would have short-changed the best.
Day four waited.
“…For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.” Romans 8:25; ESV.
Now if we ever have the occasion to go back, after having viewed the majesty of the entire vista, we won’t be satisfied with less. We will look for the mountains. We will squint against the sun searching past the clouds. We will expect what is hidden to shine.
If we know Jesus, if like the disciples we sit at his feet. If we hang on to every word He says, and learn His ways, we simply must have more and more of Him. It is a thirst unquenchable.
When our hearts cry out like David’s, “How long? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?”
When clouds draw shadows dark and foreboding, when mist dims His splendor, we can take heart because we know the certainty. We have seen His glory, and nothing less can satisfy.
Day four will be spectacular because He is at the end of our wait.
*photos by Philip Schroeder