We just got home from a wonderful, refreshing vacation. Two weeks in the Pacific Northwest was a balm to the soul with the giant, green trees and vast ocean waves—soul-giving to these desert dwellers. But the plane ride home is what is staying with me this week as well. I have always loved how white, billowy and cotton-like the clouds look once you break through them with magnificent rays of sunshine coming from above.
As we flew out of Denver on our layover, the skies were dark, and the underside of the clouds were gray and ominous looking. It appeared a storm could break at any moment. As we ascended into the sky, we were quickly in the middle of the clouds where there was no visibility and it was bumpy and you felt a little uncertain as to what the rest of the flight might be like. Then suddenly we broke through the clouds and it was sunny and bright with brilliant sun rays shining down on the fluffy clouds. The kind where you picture cherub angels from toilet paper commercials rolling around—haha!
I’ve been reading a book, All Things New by John Eldredge (What I’m Currently Reading — Summer, 2020). It is about the restoration of our beautiful earth when God restores it and makes all things new again. John beautifully describes the differences between our ailing, aging earth plagued with sin and brokenness with the promises God has made in the Bible of the new and restored Earth where we will spend eternity if we are His followers.
The parallel of the clouds and our current earth to
our restored Earth struck me with wonder.
Our lives (and come on, especially this year of 2020!) can be full of darkness with the outlook seeming quite ominous. There is fear of what is happening and what still may be ahead. The storms are real, and we are not quite sure when they will hit or from what direction they will arrive.
Many times, during the storm we feel we cannot see beyond it. Our vision is obscured from the unknown. We have no idea how short or long this season may last, or will it ever end?
Then, but then, there is a breakthrough! The sun begins to shine again and as it does, hope returns to fill our soul. The sun’s rays fill us with warmth and peace and possibilities. The clouds are no longer dark but are full of joy and promise of brighter days ahead!
Okay, so I know that analogy can sound a bit simplistic and maybe even naïve. We don’t know if or when our personal (or world) storms will end, and the sun will begin to shine. We may truly be stuck in a storm filled with uncertainty for each day ahead. If that is where you find yourself, I’m asking you to look beyond finding the fluffy clouds in the near future. Instead, the only place you can safely put your hope is in our eventual home in heaven, especially on this new and restored Earth. This is how you can live above the clouds!
In his book, John Eldredge states “God is trying to do two things with the promise in the earth and in our hearts: He is trying to woo us into hopeful expectation, and He is attempting to lift our gaze to the horizon so we might live for the real thing that is coming.” Yes! This is how we live in hope on this broken-down earth … with our gaze fixed on the horizon of what is ahead, if not in this life, in the one after.
John also reminds us that our unrest, our frustrations, our disappointments with this world and our lives are because we were created for His Kingdom, and not for this current earth. I like how he says it, “The thing you are made for is the renewal of all things. God has given you a heart for His Kingdom … This explains so much … It explains your cry for justice, and it also explains your growing hopelessness, resignation, cynicism, and defeat … The secret to your unhappiness and the answer to the agony on the earth are one and the same—we are longing for the Kingdom of God. We are aching for the restoration of all things.”
So how about you, friend? Are you ready to join me in living above the clouds? Sure, there are days and circumstances that pull us back under, but when we KNOW our future because we KNOW HIM, we will find a hope within our soul that lifts us above. One day, all we love will be restored. Can I get an Amen and a Hallelujah?!?
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