Tag Archives: clouds

Captured by Pain ~ Captivated by God’s Love

Ominous

Ominous ~ a recent storm approaching

Captured by pain
Yet captivated by grace sublime
Devastated in every way
Yet drenched in love Divine

God sometimes allows circumstances to capture us, in order to captivate us with His immeasurable love. 

He will even use pain to stop the busyness and speak into our lives.  To hold us in His arms and drench us with His love.

My recovery from neck surgery has been rife with ups and downs.  With periods of strengths and setbacks. 

Although I prefer the days without pain, it is during those weakened interludes that God grabs my full attention.  He is then able to remind me of His all-consuming love.

You may have noticed my infrequent blogging.  It is because of continued difficulties with computer usage.  Since I love writing and working with photos, my inability to do so has brought much discouragement.

The enemy wants us to focus on the ominous possibilities of our circumstances and dwell in devastated defeat.  To convince us that the life we once enjoyed has ended.  To permanently capture us with pain.

At its worst, though, discouragement cannot overtake God’s love.  Physical pain cannot extinguish it.  Hardship cannot prevent it.

No matter the difficulty, God’s love abounds higher, wider and deeper still.  Trials don’t have to destroy us; they can instead strip out the trivial and bring us closer to God.  We can discover afresh and anew that His word is true:

Nothing can separate us from God’s love.

I wish that things in life made sense.  The good news is that they don’t have to for me to know and experience a contentment found only in God. 

When trials capture us, we can rest in God’s embrace, knowing that He is in control. 

God wants us to focus on the magnificent certainty of His promises and dwell in contented rest.  To believe that the purposes He intends are yet realized.  To forever captivate us with His love.

God will use anything to drench us with an awareness of His everlasting love and His grace, so sublime.

“I will sing of the Lord’s unfailing love forever!
Psalm 89:1
NLT

“You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good.
Genesis 50:20a
NLT

 

God’s Excellence in Clouds ~ A Photo Gallery

To observe God’s excellence, we need look no further than the clouds.
Strength ~ I loved the stark contrasts in these clouds; gave them a look of strength

Strength ~ I loved the stark contrasts in these clouds; gave them a look of strength

Ascribe ye strength unto God: his excellency is over Israel, and his strength is in the clouds
Psalm 68:34
KJV

Numbered ~ these clouds almost reminded me of a checkerboard pattern

Numbered ~ these clouds almost reminded me of a checkerboard pattern; can you count them?

Who can number the clouds in wisdom?
Job 38:37
KJV

Poised ~ this iPhone photo I took a few days ago showed a cloud front, poised for a change in weather

Poised ~ this iPhone photo I took a few days ago showed a cloud front, poised for a change in weather

Do you know how the clouds hang poised, those wonders of him who has perfect knowledge?
Job 37:16
NIV

Presence ~ taken last summer, an example of the ominous storm fronts that build suddenly in Mississippi

Presence ~ taken last summer, an example of the ominous storm fronts that build suddenly in Mississippi

Out of the brightness of his presence clouds advanced, with hailstones and bolts of lightning.
Psalm 18:12
NIV

Upward ~ when seeing these billowy clouds like these, I can't help but think of God's faithfulness

Upward ~ when seeing billowy clouds like these, I can’t help but think of God’s faithfulness

For your steadfast love is great above the heavens;
your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.
Psalm 108:4
KJV

Which one is your favorite?  I would love to know! 

Sue Nash/2014

What Will the Clouds Look Like When Jesus Comes?

Clouds with blue skyWhat will the clouds look like, on the day when Jesus comes?
Will they be glistening bright
With fluffy billows white,
Glorious in the noonday sun?

Clouds with sunset What will greet His presence, if the sun is setting low?
Will the clouds be basking in bliss,
With rosy shades of fire,
Wondrous in the evening glow?

Clouds with moon What will the night bring forth, if it’s dark when He appears?
Will the clouds be shadowy mist,
With soft wisps dancing round,
Serene in the moonlit atmosphere?

clouds with reedWhat will your heart look like, the moment of the trumpet cry?
Will you be ready for Him,
With your sins purified,
Saved, caught up in the clouds with Christ?

I often think about the rapture.  Since nobody knows the day or hour of His return, we should expect that Christ could come at any moment.  It could be morning, night or noon. 

The one thing we do know is that if we are alive when Jesus comes, true Believers will meet Him in the clouds.  No matter how they look on the day He returns, the most important thing is the condition of one’s heart. 

If Jesus comes today, are you ready to meet Him in the clouds?

Below are two images I designed as companions to this post.  I used the same image of Christ on each, but different background pictures.
The full size photos are at Heavenly Raindrops ~ Images.

Feel free to use any of my designs on your websites!

Photos and poem by Sue Nash/2013
*Image of Jesus – from – biblecliparts.blogspot.com

Bright Clouds, Silver-Lined

Bright clouds for wordpress

“Ask ye of the LORD rain in the time of the latter rain; [so] the LORD shall make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain, to every one grass in the field.”
Zechariah 10:1
KJV

Have you ever noticed how people obsess over the weather? Weather is the Pulitzer Prize of small talk. It the go-to subject around the coffee pot at work, the ice-breaking conversation starter with a stranger and even the talking point in an elevator, a place where few ever talk.

Inclement weather seems to generate the most dialogue, especially pending storms. Those initiate almost non-stop discussion, especially with the weather channel and 24/7 news feeds. I remember so well the days leading up to Katrina how, glued to televisions, we all waited and prayed for a favorable outcome. The threatening storm created much stir. Although Katrina has long since subsided, the weather frenzy has only intensified. Now more than ever, with every storm named, the weather fascination continues.

Weather was also a topic of interest in Jesus’ day. Apparently, there were meteorologists, even then. When discussing how best to discern end time events, Jesus initiated the conversation about weather as an avenue to reprimand those so-called weather and prophecy experts:

 “Then Jesus turned to the crowd and said, “When you see clouds beginning to form in the west, you say, ‘Here comes a shower.’ And you are right. When the south wind blows, you say, ‘Today will be a scorcher.’ And it is. You fools! You know how to interpret the weather signs of the earth and sky, but you don’t know how to interpret the present times.”
Luke 12:54-56

Another time, in Matthew 16, Jesus is confronted by critics asking Him for a sign to prove who He was but rather than comply with their demands, He scolds them for being savvy forecasters of weather, based on the color of the sky, yet unable to read the signs of His coming. These weather enthusiasts were pros at using their eyes to judge nature but failures when it came to recognizing the Truth standing in front of them. They were good at watching clouds but stunk at finding Him.

My key verse is from Zechariah 10. The context is the nation of Israel, after their captivity in Babylon and subsequent return to their homeland. Zechariah writes that God will once again bring the blessings back with His latter rain. This promise brought encouragement to them and for us today, as well.

THE BRIGHT CLOUDS

I have read this passage several times and often skim past it. Every time I read the part about the bright clouds, I envision a drawing depicting a bright, sunny day with lofty clouds and green grasses below. The kind of sketch a child would draw for display alongside other choice refrigerator artwork. Since I grew up on the KJV Bible, I had never questioned that bright clouds meant anything other than the billowy types. I assumed that the rain mentioned would come later. Actually, the bright refers to ‘lightning’ or ‘flashing clouds’ and are rain clouds instead of the bright sunny ones I supposed.

Bright cloud sketch

Lacking any adequate irrigation system back then, Israel’s livelihood was dependent on rain. Early and then latter rains are what kept their crops alive and their well-being preserved; hence, Zechariah’s portrayal of the clouds would automatically be viewed as an encouragement to those despondent, former slaves that blessings were forthcoming. Rain was on the way!

I was a little distraught when I realized my understanding about the clouds was in error. Even though the flashing type brought rain and were a clear promise of renewal, thoughts of such storms, with occasional associated destruction, clouded my receptivity of the verse’s true meaning. Part of me longed to keep that happier picture on the refrigerator. Yet, God reminded me to take a closer look.

Rain clouds are by nature ominous. Though not as becoming as the white, fluffy types, they are the only ones which sustain life. Water vapors, if left suspended in the sky, may be beautiful clustered together as clouds, but they must bust open their payload to nourish the fields and grasses below. My bright clouds look good floating around in the sky or on pretty paper but are worthless if they never bring showers of blessing.

THE SILVER LINING

The bright, flashing clouds mentioned suggest latter rain, but also hint of a benefit yet unseen; there is a silver lining. With stormy Cumulonimbus clouds, lightning is always around. It is the precursor to the rain. One flash suddenly illuminates the dark. The clouds bring the restoring rain, but the lightning bolts, though unpredictable and terrifying, herald its arrival. One day soon, another event will suddenly stun the entire world and bring for some a longed for promised restoration. With lightning strike speed, God will herald the Son’s return and our promised gathering to meet Him in the sky. For Believers, meeting Jesus in the clouds is our silver lining!

 “For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.” Matthew 24:27

The return of Christ is on the horizon but His coming will catch many unaware. As lightning crashes unexpectedly ahead of rain, Jesus will snatch His loved ones home with a suddenness that will bring eternal blessings for them but profound devastation for those left behind. However, since this event is yet to occur, nobody reading this post need be unprepared. A-accept Jesus now, before it is too late. B-believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead. C-confess your sins openly with your mouth and make Him Lord of your life. Out of love, Jesus gave His life so that everyone would have a Way back to Him and not left behind. Just do not delay. Today is the day of salvation!

God observes the weather. Though we tend to get fixated upon the weather and its patterns, He is not at all surprised when it changes. Perhaps, knowing that man would have such a fascination with the weather is what prompted His decision to designate clouds as the meeting place for Christ’s return. He knew we would be cloud gazing anyway, so why not have that upward stare be a reminder of Him.

Whether bright, fluffy ones or ominous, rainy ones, clouds should always be special to God’s children. It is in those clouds, with a blaze of lightning flash glory, that He will both reunite and carry us home. Bright clouds really are silver-lined!