If The Clouds Are Full...
Tuesday, June 25 2019
My life earlier this year was filled with clouds. Dark ominous clouds – clouds heavy with water – clouds that threatened to storm down upon me with torrential rains at any moment.
But then, why was I surprised? After all, 1 Peter 4:12 states: “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.” And as the Book of Acts 14:22b says: “We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.”
Awhile ago, enjoying a marvelous if slightly older and dated devotional called Streams in the Desert, I read this: “The best things of life come out of wounding. Wheat is crushed before it becomes bread… The ground must be broken with the sharp plough before it is ready to receive the seed. It is the broken heart that pleases God. The sweetest joys in life are the fruits of sorrow. Human nature seems to need suffering to fit it for being a blessing to the world."
To some degree or other, in some particular area of our lives or other, aren’t we all experiencing afflictions and tribulations at one time or another? In my humanity, it brings deep pain to my heart to see so much suffering and sorrow in the world, and sometimes in my own life. On the other hand, when I try to see these situations through God’s eyes, I know God is breaking and crushing us, and we are being prepared for the seeds and fruits of blessing that will later grow within our hearts. We are all suffering different pains and wounds, we are all weeping and crying out. But I know, because the Word of God says so, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart – these, o God, You will not despise.” (Psalm 51:17) I know that later on, the fruits of our sorrows will be the sweetest joys of our lives. And yes! Although we kick and fight against it, human nature does seem “to need suffering to fit it for being a blessing to the world.”
“Nothing that is not God’s will can come into the life of one who trusts and obeys God… Is it not a glorious thing to know that, no difference how unjust a thing may be, or how absolutely it may seem to be from Satan, by the time it reaches us it is God’s will for us, and will work for good to us? For all things work together for good to us who love God … We live charmed lives if we are living in the center of God’s will. All the attacks that Satan, through other’s sin, can hurl against us are not only powerless to harm us, but are turned into blessings on the way.” (H.W.S. – Streams in the Desert I)
You know what? Read that last paragraph again! It has some deep and powerful truths in it – and I don’t think that they can be understood and assimilated with just one quick read-through…
Now, aren’t those comforting and hopeful words? If I try to live in the will of God, trusting and obeying Him, He promises me that He Himself will work out for good all evil thought against me (Genesis 50:20), that everything in my life that Satan wants to steal, kill and destroy, God will transform into blessing and abundant life for me (John 10:10).
Ecclesiastes 11:3ª says, “If the clouds are full, they pour out rain upon the earth…”
“Why, then, do we dread the clouds which now darken our sky? True, for awhile they hide the sun, but the sun is not quenched; he will be out again before long. Meanwhile, those black clouds are filled with rain; and the blacker they are, the more likely they will yield plentiful showers. How can we have rain without clouds? Our troubles have always brought us blessings, and they always will… Our God may drench us with grief, but He will refresh us with mercy… Let us not worry about the clouds, but sing…” for where abundant rain falls abundant flowers will grow.” (C.H.Spurgeon – Streams in the Desert I)
Dear friend: how is the sky of your life these days? Clear blue, cloudless, and with a shining sun? Or full of dark grey clouds, full of lightning and thunder, with heavy rains pouring to the ground? Don’t be afraid – don’t worry – don’t despair. Rest in the Lord. “If the clouds are full, they pour out rain upon the earth…” And then they will produce an abundant and beautiful harvest of flowers in your life.
And remember, as Spurgeon so aptly and beautifully wrote: “Our God may drench us with grief, but He will refresh us with mercy.”
What a precious thought to cling to when the clouds of our lives are full…
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