The outlook on Monday morning this week was one of a grey, cold, damp, mist rolling in off the sea. In the distance you could hear the sound of the foghorn. Where was the late spring sunshine? We went out for a walk, but with our jackets back on as it was cold and wet. There was no inspiration from the sea views today! Or so I thought. By mid-morning, however, everything had changed. The mist had blown away to reveal the blue skies and sunshine that had been there all along – hidden by the low cloud.
Skies Always Blue?
This reminded me of an old hymn –
God has not promised skies always blue, Flower-strewn pathways all our lives through. God has not promised sun without rain, Joy without sorrow, peace without pain. But God has promised strength for the day, Rest for the labour, light for the way, Grace for the trials, help from above, Unfailing sympathy, undying love.Annie Johnson Flint
I learnt this ‘poem’ as a child. Now that sounds very worthy, but I have a confession to make, I learnt it because I was ‘bored’ sitting in Chapel. We went to Chapel on a Sunday morning, in the days when children were expected to sit quietly through the service. Sunday School was at a separate time! One Sunday the sermon seemed to be particularly long and difficult to understand. My Mum, though, had these two verses on a bookmark in her Bible. In an effort to entertain myself I started memorizing the words, I know, I was a strange child! That little ‘poem’ is powerful, though, and has stayed with me through some of the darkest and most difficult times of my life. God has not promised that we will always see blue skies, but he has promised that He will provide the strength that we need, when we need it.
When Low Cloud Hides the Blue Skies
There are times when our problems seem too big, and the weight of worry is too heavy. Emotions which can so easily overwhelm us, we may feel, as if our heart is breaking. In those times of unsettling fear God calls us to put our trust in Him. He is our refuge and strength. Doubt and fear may close in, and we can struggle to see and feel God’s presence. However, it does not change the fact, He is there. God’s word declares that He is our ever-present help in times of trouble. In the same way that we know when the cloud rolls in, the blue skies are still there, even when they are obscured from sight.
“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise – in God I trust and am not afraid.”Psalm 56:3-4
In those fearful times we learn, that with God, we need not fear. And in those dark stormy times we learn, that with God, we can find peace in the height of the storm.
It is only when the cloud closes in that we learn, that with God, there is always enough light for the next step.Tweet
As we move forward, with just enough light for that next step of faith, we learn to put our trust in God. In that place of trust, we find we need not be afraid. With help from above, the cloud will roll away and the sun will shine again!