Finding Joy in the Clouds

A few months ago, I made a startling discovery. In Scripture, clouds are associated with the very presence of God.

Before my surprising insight, my view of clouds had been entirely negative. I'd never liked cloudy days, especially when they were accompanied by storms. I like clear days and sunshine, blue skies and smooth sailing.

But as I was reading Exodus, I was amazed to see that clouds always brought with them God's nearness. In the wilderness, the Israelites recognized the Lord in the cloud, as he spoke from it (Exodus 19:9), guided with it (Exodus 13:21) and revealed his glory through it (Exodus 16:10). And in the New Testament, God drew near to the disciples on the Mount of Transfiguration in a cloud.

My newfound Scriptural view of clouds gave me words to describe and understand a profoundly moving moment from my past when God himself came to me in the clouds. It was weeks after the unexpected death of our baby, Paul.

Nothing Felt Safe

Paul had been born with a heart defect, but after his surgery at birth, he was thriving. At two months old, we took him in for a checkup. The substitute cardiologist was so impressed with Paul’s progress that he took him off all his medications. They were unnecessary. At first I was elated. Paul was exceeding expectations. But the situation changed quickly. Three days later, when I got up to nurse him in the middle of the night, Paul screamed and went limp. We rushed him to the hospital but it was too late. Paul was dead.

[Read the rest of the article at Desiring God.]