While driving back and forth to school this week, I was transfixed by the beauty of the clouds. You can see in the photo how they filled the sky as far as my eye could see. They brought to mind a Bible verse that speaks of the invisible, spiritual cloud which encircles our world today.
Hebrews 12:1 reads, Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.
Imagine a multitude of witnesses watching with wonder as we live out the lives God gave us. And who are the witnesses He honors by mentioning them in the lines before this verse? People like Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Gideon, Sarah, and Rahab.
Do you know their stories? They were liars, cheats, usurpers, cowards, manipulators, murderers, and more.
They were abused by loved ones, falsely accused by the courts, forgotten for years on end, mistreated by their enemies, or seemingly left to desperate choices such as murder or prostitution just to survive.
Here’s how they’re like clouds . . .
Clouds begin as individual water molecules. Then some kind of modifying factor—temperature or humidity or altitude—works on these molecules until they collide and form into a body, giving them a new orientation to serve a new end. They become useful, depositing life-giving water on a thirsty earth, and beautiful.
Just so, these folks began life with a plan of their own and quickly became entangled by sin. When they turned to God, He became the modifying factor in their lives and worked at fundamentally changing them. He used His Word and the people around them and the sometimes crushing weight of circumstances to transform them into faithful followers.
Now their legacy casts a shadow that stretches over all the earth, reminding us that we are not alone and leaving us an example to follow.
So even the clouds in the sky become an object lesson to teach us that God accepts people as they are, but He loves them too much to leave them that way.
More thoughts about clouds . . .
The Lord was going before them in a pillar of cloud by day to lead them on the way. Exodus 13:21
Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. I Thessalonians 4:17
He [God] makes the clouds His chariot; He walks upon the wings of the wind. Psalm 104:3