One of the things I love about living in Colorado is the brilliant bright sun surrounded by the deep blue sky at altitude. Since I was born under this magnificent canopy, persistent cloudy days have an adverse effect on my mood.
Spiritually, I anticipated the longer I walked in faith things would become clearer like the Rocky Mountain sky on a sunny day. But truth be told, some days things seem cloudy and mysterious. When I started out in seminary I thought I had most of the answers to life’s most difficult problems, but today many times I find myself at a loss for words.
For example Patty and I went with our friend Steve last week to his vacation home on the panhandle of Florida, about 40 miles from Panama City. When we planned this trip a few months ago we both were looking forward to some rest from a busy summer and fall. We would have never dreamt that Hurricane Michael with a 155 mile an hour winds would be visiting just a few days before us.
When we drove through Panama City and saw the horrific destruction to homes and businesses our words became few and an overwhelming sense of helplessness griped us. Again, it was like a cloud surrounded my spirit and it was hard to make sense of it. I lacked answers for the devastation this powerful storm caused; my only conclusion was to simply go forward with a surrendered faith in with this any many other mysteries of life.
This cloud of unknowing that has moved into my life over the past years has been teaching me to learn to live in the moment by faith. To trust that my Father holds on to me in the cloud and to cling to Him alone, knowing that His love demonstrated through the gift of His Son Jesus is all the security I need in the cloud. Without the cloud I can easily walk away and seek to be god of my own destiny, which never ends well.
The journey of faith my family and I began four years ago parallels what the cloud has been teaching me. These important truths have carried me forward as I seek to live: A Surrendered Faith, a Secured Hope, and a Life Saturated by Love. (1 Corinthians 13:13 highlights these dynamic truths).
I’m learning that if I look with His eyes and listen for His voice I will find the Father in the Cloud. He was right there in the midst of all the pain and rubble from Hurricane Michael. His heart was revealed to us in a lady named Christine, a friend of Steve’s whose tears showed the Father’s compassion for the victims of Michael.
Christine’s church was launching out to meet the needs of those hardest hit and we heard the Father’s voice calling us be His love. I called the Oceans Board and they graciously agreed to partner with her church and what a blessings it was to hand over a stack of $25 gift cards from the Father to His needy children.
Developing a Surrendered Faith is truly realizing that God is God and I am not. It is admitting and surrendering to His sovereign plan. The losses encountered through Hurricane Michael will last for many years, but I thank God and thank you for all who team up with Oceans Ministries to be His loving hands and feet in the midst of the clouds.
“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” I Corinthians 13:13