Cloudy Days

Here in California we have had many days of clear blue skies. Clear blue skies are very nice and very peaceful. We have clear blue skies most days of the year. Often clear blue skies are like the days of our lives when things are going great. We have enough to eat and enough to wear. Our lives run along in easy pathways.

Then we have clouds and rain. Troubles come again and again. We have problems, challenges, and we have reasons to turn to God. Those are the days when we have clouds. Some people don’t like the rain and cold cloudy days. They say it is too cold and they long for the clear blue skies.

But those are the days when we enjoy the sun more. Those are the days we see more striking sunrises and sunsets. Those are the days we can sit and watch the clouds move in the sky. They change shape and billow up huge or blow away into streaks.

So those times in our lives when things are not going smoothly, when we have challenges, problems, issues, arguments, and other trials in this life, those are our cloudy days. Those are the times we turn back to God. Those are times when we thirst for him. We seek him because we know that he will be there, he will answer us. He is always there for us.

Without the cloudy days we would not appreciate the warm sunshine on our faces? We would be too used to it. We would be like the Israelites of old who thought that their good fortune was their doing. They thought, I have done this and that, I have built up my life and made it secure. They turned their backs on their God, thinking they did not need him.

But when their lives turned upside down then they sought God again. They think to themselves, where is our God and why has he forsaken us?

And so it is with us. When times are good and the skies are clear, we forget to spend time in prayer or bible reading. We forget to seek other Christians to encourage them or to ask for encouragement or prayer. We have other things that fill our time. It does not seem so important.

Then the clouds and rain come and the troubles wash over us. Then we remember to seek after our God. Then we remember where our help comes from. Then we remember.

So let us enjoy the clouds, the rains, and the storms. Let us see them as reasons to slow down in our striving for success or survival. We can take a moment to enjoy the sunset or the sunrise. We can take a moment to enjoy the turn of a cloud, the streaks or odd shapes.

Our troubles are not here forever and neither are the clouds. But our God is. And we will again praise him and sing for joy. We will again fix our eyes on him and he will put a smile on our faces.

Psalm 42: 1-3 As a white-tailed deer drinks from the creek; I want to drink God, deep draughts of God. I’m thirsty for God-alive. I wonder, “Will I ever make it— arrive and drink in God’s presence?” I’m on a diet of tears— tears for breakfast, tears for supper. All day long people knock at my door, Pestering, “Where is this God of yours?”

4 These are the things I go over and over, emptying out the pockets of my life. I was always at the head of the worshiping crowd, right out in front, Leading them all, eager to arrive and worship,
Shouting praises, singing thanksgiving— celebrating, all of us, God’s feast!

5 Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul? Why are you crying the blues? Fix my eyes on God— soon I’ll be praising again. He puts a smile on my face. He’s my God.

6-8 When my soul is in the dumps, I rehearse everything I know of you, From Jordan depths to Hermon heights, including Mount Mizar. Chaos calls to chaos, to the tune of whitewater rapids. Your breaking surf, your thundering breakers crash and crush me. Then God promises to love me all day, sing songs all through the night! My life is God’s prayer.

9-10 Sometimes I ask God, my rock-solid God, “Why did you let me down? Why am I walking around in tears, harassed by enemies?” They’re out for the kill, these tormentors with their obscenities, Taunting day after day, “Where is this God of yours?”

11 Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul? Why are you crying the blues? Fix my eyes on God— soon I’ll be praising again. He puts a smile on my face. He’s my God.

Psalm 43:1-2 Clear my name, God; stick up for me against these loveless, immoral people. Get me out of here, away from these lying degenerates. I counted on you, God. Why did you walk out on me? Why am I pacing the floor, wringing my hands over these outrageous people?

3-4 Give me your lantern and compass, give me a map, So I can find my way to the sacred mountain, to the place of your presence, To enter the place of worship, meet my exuberant God,
Sing my thanks with a harp, magnificent God, my God.

5 Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul? Why are you crying the blues? Fix my eyes on God— soon I’ll be praising again. He puts a smile on my face. He’s my God.

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