Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Enter the cloud

“The LORD said He would dwell in the dark cloud."
I Kings 8:12

A few months ago I was reading The Beginner's Bible to my daughter. We came to Exodus when God gave Moses the 10 Commandments on Mt. Sinai.

God called Moses up to the mountain.
He wanted to talk to Moses.
The mountain shook.
A thick cloud covered it.
There was thunder and lightning.
God had come to the mountain in the cloud.

As I read that I sat there stunned. I couldn't keep reading to my daughter. I just froze as that last sentence boomed inside of my head. GOD HAD COME TO THE MOUNTAIN IN THE CLOUD.

As I sat there frozen, this idea swirled around inside of my brain a few times and hit me smack in the face. The idea that God is in the thunder and lightning. It's exactly opposite of what I had always thought. When God comes down and is near, it can be a very scary and chaotic time.

It's stormy.

It's not always a cloudless blue sky, it can be crazy.

It's scary.

It's not what you think it will be.

I sat there and stared at that picture of the black mountain and the grey clouds and the lightning...I froze, taking it in. I realized that was us.

We were in the cloud.

 A few days later I stumbled across this picture in one of our coloring books.

Again, this image of the swirling storm, the's a frightening image. I ripped it out and put it on my dresser. I just felt I needed to save it.

Yesterday, I stumbled upon that coloring page while I was trying to clear off the piles on my dresser. As soon as I saw it I stopped. I strained my brain because it was all coming back to me and at the same time I was putting it together with yesterday's Streams in the Desert reading.

"Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was."   Exodus 20:21

God has still His hidden secrets, hidden from the wise and prudent. Do not fear them; be content to accept things that you cannot understand; wait patiently. Presently He will reveal to you the treasures of darkness, the riches of the glory of the mystery. Mystery is only the veil of God's face.

Do not be afraid to enter the cloud that is settling down on your life. God is in it. The other side is radiant with His glory. "Think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing has happened unto you; but rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings." When you seem loneliest and most forsaken, God is nigh. He is in the dark cloud. Plunge into the blackness of it's darkness without flinching; under the shrouding curtain of His pavilion you will find God awaiting you.

Again, He is telling me to "wait patiently".

"He will reveal to you the treasures of darkness."

That struck me. We have always referred to our children as our Treasures, we call them T1, T2, T3, T4 and T5. Isabel and Samuel are our treasures of darkness.

"When you seem loneliest and most forsaken, God is nigh. He is in the dark cloud."

Oh, how forsaken we have felt these last many months, and how far God has seemed from us. Although I don't feel his smile upon us, I do take comfort in this. I know He is reaching out to comfort me and reassure me that although we are in the cloud, He is there with us.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

When right looks wrong

Gideon is the son of a friend of mine. He is two years old. The other day, little Gideon toodled around in his fireman's hat at my house eating a tiny apple he picked off our tree. When questioned by his mother on his thoughts about firemen he looked at me and said seriously, "Bad guys."

His mother explained that they had recently watched a bunch of firemen burn down a house.

They set the house on fire.

They broke the windows with axes.

They sat back and watched the house burn to the ground.

In Gideon's mind they were bad guys.

They must have been.


We know that it was a controlled burn, but to Giddy's mind it was just plain wrong!

My friend shared how this had struck her in regards to our situation. She prayed, "God, do we say you are bad when we really just don't understand what You are doing?"

It reminded me of the March 6th Streams in the Desert. The verse is from Luke 24:21 "We trusted".

Lord, may we continue to trust in you despite the perceived crumbling, tearing or burning down of so many things that we hold dear. 

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Sitting at His feet

I was cooking some meat yesterday. I had some bits that I was going to throw out so I decided to give them to Jack, our weimaraner dog. He would love them, but they were extremely hot. I told him to sit and 'leave it' and put them in his bowl.

He sat there very still at attention staring at me. He would quickly glance down at the bowl but mostly he sat there staring at me. He didn't take his eyes off me. His head was barely cocked sideways. I felt a little bad for him because I knew how much he wanted it but I also knew that if I let him eat it he would burn his mouth.

I kept working in the kitchen and would glance his way occasionally, he did not move. He was frozen at attention, waiting for me to give the command. He would be ready when he got his okay.

It made me think of the Lord. How different He must see things than we do. Jack may be wondering, "Why can't I have it already Lady? It's right there in front of me. You like torturing me don't you?"

He doesn't know what I know.

It's hot.

It's dangerous.

It's not time yet.

I'm protecting him.

I thought how pleasing it was to me to see him being such a good boy, obeying my command despite how hard it must be for him. It made me want to give him more.

Mostly, I felt it was the Lord reiterating what he had shown me a few days earlier with Jack.

I don't know if I can explain how I feel right now. I feel totally hopeless with nothing to look forward to or hope for. I was wondering where do we go from here? Do we try again? Adoption? I felt frantic inside, wanting to know what is going to happen, how do I move past this place, where there is nothing but painful memories and broken dreams.

So this is where Jack came in. He is a puppy in the top picture. Now he is a BIG boy and he lives in the house with us. We have mostly hardwood floors and he isn't allowed on the carpets.

Yes, that is my foot and Jack's feet. He has some big feet! Do you see those toenails?! When he walks on the hard floors those very toenails make some serious clicking noise. He follows me wherever I go so I get to hear "click click click click" I stop...silence. I start again, "click click click click".

I'm sorry to say it bugs me.

So the other day I walked down the hall (clicking toenails behind me) and went into the bathroom, closing the door and closing him out! Most of the time he will lay down outside the door and wait. This time he walked from room to room looking out of the windows.

All I could hear was "Click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click.

It seemed like a lot more clicking than that too!

It was driving me crazy. Why was he walking from room to room like a nutcase?! He is so neurotic. Why does he have to look out of every window and then go back and do them all again? Just lay down outside the door and rest! Wait for me.


The bell went off in my head.

It was God.

Stop going from room to room looking out every window looking for your answer. You won't find it that way. Just come and sit at my feet. Rest. Listen to me. Wait on me. I alone have the words of life.
The word "burden" is described as being "what Jehovah has given you."

But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.  John 6:68

So now you understand why the first story of Jack was more of the same idea. He just sat there waiting for me to tell him when he could eat. And I wanted him to eat it, I was just waiting for the right time.

So that is where I am right now. Trying to sit, trying to rest at the Lord's feet. Reading his word, asking for wisdom, thanking Him for the simple pleasures we have in our life.

Today it was very cold. Today we were thankful for dry wood, a woodstove to heat our house so nicely, a roof over our heads, good food and a wonderful church. (okay there was so much more but I won't list them all)
Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you. Psalm 55:22