Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Where did all those clouds come from?

Photo by woodysbell via
June Gloom. It's a particular weather pattern here in Southern California that occurs every May and June – and this year in mid July! – in which the clouds over the ocean find their way inland several miles and linger, sometimes into the middle of the day. Along the beaches the cloud cover often stays until the late afternoon, and sometimes even brings a fair share of drizzle along with it. Many residents and tourists expecting to frolic in the California sun ask, “Where did all these clouds come from?” Eventually the clouds are defeated by the sun's rays, and the beautiful Southern California weather that we all know and love faithfully returns to remind us why we love this region in the first place.

Just like those who expect Southern California to be beautiful and sunny all year long, we also have expectations of things going a certain way in our lives. We expect our cars to get us from point A to point B, and back to A safely. We expect our children to grow up to be productive members of society. We expect our jobs to sustain us in a comfortable lifestyle. We expect our relationships to be healthy, happy, and long-lasting. When our expectations are not met often we feel disappointed, discouraged, frustrated, maybe even forgotten. We might even feel as though God cannot see us through the clouds, and wonder if He will ever again bestow His favor upon us.

What if He doesn't? What if God won't reach beyond our personal cloud cover to see that we long to see His face? That's how it is when we live outside of fellowship with Him, when we are stuck in a pattern of sin in our lives. In the Bible, the prophet Isaiah tells the people, “Listen! The Lord's arm is not too weak to save you, nor is his ear too deaf to hear you call. It's your sins that have cut you off from God. Because of your sins, he has turned away and will not listen any more.” (Isaiah 59:1-2, NLT). Why should we expect God to bless us? Think about it – the rules you set for your children, for the most part, are not all that difficult for them to keep, right? If your own children lived as though you didn't see and hear them and lived outside of the rules you have set for them, they'd likely get into trouble all the time. That being the case, would you go out of your way to give them extra-special privileges? No, I don't believe you would. That's how God feels about us when we live life outside of the rules He has given us. We're cut off from God's light, sentenced to live under the gloom of unending cloudy skies. Where did the clouds come from? From our disobedience to God. Frankly speaking, we brought it upon ourselves as a result of our own actions. And the bad news is that there is nothing we can do on our own to change it. Life in Southern California isn't meant to be like this!

There is good news though. We don't have to think of God as just riding around on a cloud shaking his head as he watches the world he created spin out of control as it runs on some misguided autopilot. No, God is more personal than that. He wants to save us. He wants to hear our cries. He doesn't like the sin-cloud barrier any more than we do. That's why God sent Jesus – to provide a way to break through the clouds so we can be in God's light and warmth. God shows His love for us – it was while we were still sinners that Jesus Christ died for us.

But the clouds won't stay away forever. June Gloom will return; what happens when we find ourselves on the underside of the sin-cloud barrier again?

We don't have to stay there. There is always a break in the clouds. There is nothing in all creation that can separate us from God's love for us in Christ Jesus our Lord! When the clouds bring just enough drizzle to mess up the dirt on your car, confess your sins to God. His arm is not too weak to save us, nor is his ear too deaf to hear us. For when we confess our sins to God, He is faithful to forgive us and cleanse us of all unrighteousness.

Here comes the sun, and I say it's alright!

1 comment:

bvaliant4him said...

Wow! Great use of the subject matter!