It seems like clouds are a recurring motif in my life lately. Not emotional clouds, but real clouds in the sky and the word clouds itself. And then, as I was driving to the grocery store this morning (because even writers have to eat. We need chocolate. And coffee. And occasionally some chai tea.), I heard Third Day’s “The Sun Is Shining.” It’s on their Wherever You Are CD, which I admit I haven’t listened to as much as others. It’s still a great Third Day CD, just not my favorite of theirs. It’s a little low-key for me, I think.
It’s not that the song spoke to me so much as it brought to the front all of the cloud things that have been floating around out there lately. It was raining, I had on the windshield wipers, and when the song came on it hit me: above those clouds, the sun is shining. If I had the ability to get up in the air a few thousand feet, the dreariness would be gone and the sun would be shining. Below me, it would still be raining. All around me, it would be bright and sunny.
How many times in our lives do we set our focus onto the clouds? We see the gray and the rain and the bleak and the blah. I’ll go one step further… above every tornado, above every hurricane, the sun is shining down. When the storm is raging and everything about us is shattering, when everything we thought we knew is wrong, when it seems like there’s nothing but dark… the sun is shining just a few thousand feet above us. (No jokes about, “Not if it’s the middle of the night,” please.) Just because we can’t see it at the moment doesn’t mean it’s ceased to exist.
I think I needed to hear that most especially this year, when the news here and all over the world
is so… I don’t know. Insane? Above this mess, God still shines.
In her Beloved Disciple Bible study, Beth Moore refers to Oswald Chambers. Chambers notes that clouds symbolize God’s presence (Exodus 16:10, 24: 15-16, Lev. 16:2, Luke 9:34, and others). Typically, they “shroud” His presence because He is too glorious for human eyes to see.
No, it’s not deep theology, but it’s truth. Clouds don’t make the sun go away. Dark times don’t make God go away. He is always there, undimmed and no less glorious than when we see him in our mountaintop times.