Posted by: mikenicholsblog | September 23, 2013

how to live under the clouds

Today is a cloudy day in Ohio, and it almost looks like it could snow! Our state seems to have very few days of full sun (I pout a lot), and our fair share of snow (in its season). Have you ever had a month where it seemed that every day was full of pain and stress? I can remember a month like that a few years ago, and a very specific and vivid memory of the last day of that dreadful thirty-one days.  I was eating at my favorite Chinese restaurant and I received a fortune cookie with no fortune inside! (I refer back to the “…pout a lot” comment earlier)

Cloudy days and months are part of the human condition, but they should never dim the brightness of the Son in our lives. My personal experience is that when clouds hover, the Son’s presence can be easily obscured. I’d say it’s very likely you’ve experienced some of those very same feelings. We must (especially in the response to those times) accept that when the Father allows the clouds, He wants us to reflect the Son.

A review of history will show that mankind has always had cloudy seasons. Over my years of reading Scripture, I have witnessed great examples of how to live under the clouds. Peter and John didn’t have all sunny days, but were used of the Lord even when facing persecution.  On one particular “cloudy” day, Peter communicated words that left no doubt about real salvation.

Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.   Acts 4:12

The clouds (persecution) that Peter and John faced could have caused them to be timid about Christ. In his proclamation, Peter reflected the Son as the only way to heaven. Religion may debate it, but the Bible is clear.

In the very next chapter in Acts, the apostles were called in and flogged. They were ordered not to speak in the name of Jesus. How would you and I respond to an order like that?  But hear how they responded …

The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.  Acts 5:41

I would classify getting flogged as a cloudy day, but the apostles continued to reflect the good news of the Son.

Persecution has never really been a part of my life.  Does your life story resonate with that? But we have certainly seen cloudy days and months. In those times, the pain is real and the stress is palpable. I am convinced that those cloudy times are invaluable moments and opportunities for reflecting the Son. There is a world of people around us that need the Light of the world … Jesus! What better time to reflect the Son’s love, grace and mercy than during times when we are overshadowed by pain and stress. People need the Lord and they need to see Him reflected in our lives.

If you are a Christ-follower, there are people around you who need to see His reflection. Don’t let the clouds dim the truth of His love. The examples that we found in Acts should give us all courage to be appropriately bold about our faith, especially in the shadow of our own clouds. When you are faced with that seemingly impossible task (that actually is impossible in your own power), try speaking the words of Ephesians 3:20-21…

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be the glory in the church, and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

yeam2012


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