March 26, 2011

Riding on the Clouds of Hope

Life Can't Survive Without Hope
I've had my own earthquake to navigate through recently; an earthquake of a more spiritual nature. In fact, it is our very relocation that left me reeling in a foggy type of aftermath last week. Granted, it is an earthquake of our own choosing; nonetheless, it is still tumultuous.

Nearly two weeks ago, my husband, children, and I said goodbye to our dearest friends and our wonderful families and embarked on an adventure of epic proportions (for us, anyway). We landed in a "small" Northern California town. (I put small in quotes because it's still bigger in population than the town we moved away from, though it actually feels smaller).

We came seeking a change in weather (and other things), only to find that the rainy season isn't quite over yet. The rain here is big. The wind is wild and raging. There have been thunder and lightning storms and even some hail...all in one week! Night before last, the wind was making noises I have never heard the wind make before. And yesterday, with a clap and a crack, lightning made our power go out!
I can't tell you how disheartening it is to be sitting here wondering if we made the right decision. Everyone who finds out we're new here asks us if we've ever been here during the summer. When we say no, they tell us gravely, "You know, it gets up to 115 for a couple weeks every summer." We knew this before we moved here, but the gravity in their tone sends my mind spinning with the question, "What have we done?"

To make matters even more interesting, I don't really want to go back to Washington. Our home here is beautiful. It is at least three times as large as our last home, and I relish the feeling at the end of the day that I've gotten a workout just walking around and keeping things tidy! Our neighbors are wonderful, and we have some wonderful friends here that I'm excited to spend more time with. Also, I'm looking forward to connecting to one of my favorite churches of all time (one of the main reasons I moved here).

As I told my friend, it all seems very surreal right now. We aren't sure what we're going to do here and even whether or not we're going to like it. However, we don't want to go back to where we came from. We are in transition--still. I'm beginning to wonder if transition ever actually ends this side of heaven. Anyway, there will definitely be aspects of living here that we don't like, and this leads me once again to the topic at hand:

Flickr of Hope
 Deuteronomy 33:26-29
There is no one like the God of Jeshurun,
who rides on the heavens to help you
and on the clouds in his majesty.
The eternal God is your refuge,
and underneath are the everlasting arms.
He will drive out your enemy before you,
saying, "Destroy him!"
So Israel will live in safety alone;
Jacob's spring is secure
in a land of grain and new wine,
where the heavens drop dew.
Blessed are you, O Israel!
Who is like you,
a people saved by the Lord?
He is your shield and helper
and your glorious sword.
Your enemies will cower before you,
and you will trample down their high places.

Reading this again today, I am in awe of the promises that lie within this passage. I'm asking you to indulge my childlike imagination for just a moment...God rides around on the clouds in all his majesty. I have always wanted to know what it would be like to ride on the clouds. When I was a kid, before I knew they had no real substance, I used to imagine how soft and fluffy they big and cozy they must be...and oh the view you would have! I imagined myself floating around on them, singing softly to myself, enjoying the view.

But this passage says God rides on the clouds in His majesty. That sounds like a wilder ride than I ever envisioned. And I know the God of all Comfort and all Joy must enjoy that wild ride on the clouds. In fact, perhaps it was Him out there making all that noise, whooping it up while I was worried that the roof would fly off my house. (I did ask for your indulgence in my imagination). So, anyway, regardless of whether my imagination has any weight or not in this case, it must be some kind of serious business for Him to be displaying His majesty upon the clouds.
Hands of Hope
Yet, He stops and reaches down his everlasting arms to scoop me up into His lap so that I will no longer be afraid. He says to me, "Stop fearing the storms, and come up here where I am so you can ride them out with me. You are safe with me. I may be huge, I may be frightening to some, but to you I am Daddy. I am the source of all your life and all your being. If you remain in me, I will carry you through this life from the tops of the clouds."

Then there's the part about Him driving out my enemies. Goodbye fear; goodbye insecurity; goodbye self-hatred; goodbye loneliness; goodbye depression; goodbye strife and stress. And good riddance! He is shouting at these things to get their bloody hands off of me. I am His, and none of them can have me! Yeehaw!! That's enough to let out a whoop and a holler for sure.
Hope Does Not Disappoint
But it doesn't stop there. He assures me that I will live in safety. Even in the land of earthquakes? Yep, even then. I will harvest new wine and grain, which symbolize joy in life and abundance of harvest. And I love the part about heaven's dew dropping. Even in the hot of summer, I will remember that the dew of heaven falls upon me wherever I am. He refreshes me. He cools me. He will show me how to walk in joy and abundance even if I'm sweltering in the heat.

He is my shield and my helper; my sword for battle. He is my armor. He is the One who protects me. He is the One who fights for me. I will not lose. I will triumph over my enemies.  They will cower before me, because I am clothed with Him. When they look upon me, they see Jesus Christ raised from the dead. They see their worst enemy in human flesh over and over again. They see this when they look at you, too, if you know Jesus as your Savior. What is true for me is true for you, my friend! Remember, it says that we must just resist the devil, and he will flee from us. We can resist him in silence and confidence if we know with whom we are clothed. We can resist him in peace and security if we know with whom we are fighting.

Come, recognize your victory and trample some high places with me. I'm tiptoeing through the dew of heaven, riding on the clouds with my Daddy, and wondering what it was that frightened me in the first place.


  1. Great perspective, Honey. I've thought about the irony of all the rain hitting your valley right now, not that I think it's unusual, but just the timing of your move and all.

    Don't let it rattle you, speaking of thunder and lightening. It's not surprising the ugly enemies in life rear their heads when we take steps to follow where we believe God is leading.

    From an eternal perspective, all of life is but a journey toward the Promised Land although we mortals too often spend overmuch time looking for the Garden of Eden and failing to appreciate the beauty of the desert path. Beneath the glamor of thinking we'd found the Garden of Eden here on earth is the reality that the mosquitoes would likely be as big as the flowers!

    If you get too hot, come home for a visit! As you know the guest room stays a temperate 60 degrees year round.