This God is our God forever and ever — not in sunshiny weather only,
but forever and ever.
This God is our God in dark nights as well as in bright days.
This God is our God forever.
Charles Spurgeon (18)
From out my tiny airplane window all I see is white. A white that my eyes strain to look at for more than a few seconds at a time. Miles and miles of rolling, billowing, pillow-top clouds. Towering mountains of the Michelin man and all his friends. An endless orchard, filled not with fruit but huge white cotton balls. Piles and piles of white fluff from horizon to horizon. Endless brightness.
We are airborne, floating above the clouds that completely obscure the earth we left behind. And what a beautiful sight – a brilliant spectacle coming from sunlight bouncing off the very clouds that obscure its rays to those below. For us, the clouds are reflecting and enhancing the sun’s brilliance and glory.
Yet underneath this display of majesty, the earthbound have a totally different perspective. Rather than the beautiful endless expanse I see from above, their memories of brighter days have been dampened by a gloomy, grey dullness. And I expect that for many, storms are dumping rain, sleet or hail.
Is that not also so when the clouds of life-storms roll across our lives? And I don’t mean those that like an afternoon mountain thunderstorm roll in and just as quickly roll out. I’m talking about those life storms that come and stay for awhile. Like a low-pressure system trapped and pounding the land and its inhabitants. Its winds and high waters wrecking havoc and destruction.
So what about us? How do we handle our life storms? Those storms that come and stay? Times when clouds of trouble cover our lives, bringing devastation and destruction. Do our hearts become enshrouded in grey dullness, completely covered and destroyed? Maybe sink us into despair and hope-lessness?
Or is it possible to move through those dark times with our focus above? Trusting the God who sees the other side of all things. Leaning into God’s heart as we walk through even very dark days. Can we reflect the Presence of Christ as we seek God in spite of and in the midst of our life storms? No matter how bad the circumstances might get, no matter that life itself screams against God’s very existence, we believe against all odds that God not only exists but resides in our souls. Even in times of intense grief and sadness and weariness, we rely on God and continue to praise God for who He is. Giving witness that God does hold us close, hold us up and gives us strength for the living of all of our days.
Christians and non-Christians alike encounter the clouds and storms of life. Rain falls on the just and the unjust, on all of us. Accidents, illness, suffering and death are a part of life. Evil happens. People make bad decisions that affect others.
The way that humans have treated our planet and its resources have had devastating and far reaching consequences that are much easier, frankly, to blame on God. That way we don’t have to accept any responsibility. But by those claims and thought patterns, we unfortunately may give rise to doubts and place blame where it does not need to be placed, even though I too have railed at my God. Crying out for justice, for healing, for relief, for redemption of lives and circumstances.
Yet even through those days, I have come to believe even more fervently in the God who continues to be God in all of our days, and our nights. The God who does care. Who set things in motion on earth with provision for redemption and a plan for administering the care of all of the earth and all people. We perhaps just have not listened or lived well in some areas.
And rather than miraculous happenings, which can be powerful displays of our God’s power and care, just maybe the glory that this world most desperately needs to see and believe is a glory that comes forth from the lives of believers who are able to maintain an unwavering trust and faith in the God who is God in all of their days. The world desperately needs to see that God is with those who proclaim His name. Who proclaim Jesus as Savior and Redeemer on dark days as well as on bright ones.
Shall we accept only good from God’s hand? Shall we believe God only when we get what we want? Shall we continue to believe only if life is easy and pain-free? May it never be. Should we merely acquiesce and pitifully endure when suffering seems unwarranted, unjust? That serves no point.
Or will we be found faithfully proclaiming the God of the light and the darkness of life? Will we carry His name on our lips no matter the circumstances around us? It has been said that all it takes for evil to win is for good people to do nothing . . . but more so, perhaps for believers to remain silent at best, blame God at worst.
May we determine that we cannot and will not accept evil that seems to be triumphing in this world. May we fight to our dying breath to make a difference in the lives of others. May our lips and our lives reflect the heart of our God. And may we always be seen reaching for God’s hand and resting in God’s presence with us in all things.
The great Owner of heaven’s jewels thinks it worth his while to use a more elaborate and sharp cutting machine upon the most valuable stones: a diamond of the first water is sure to undergo more cutting than an inferior one, because the King desires that it may have many facets, which may throughout eternity with greater splendor, reflect the light of the glory of this name.
C. H. Spurgeon, The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit 19 (1873): 389.
As quoted in Elizabeth Ruth Skoglund’s Bright Days, Bright Nights: 20.
Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2000.
May we at all times, on all days,
be found with our eyes focused on our Lord.
Our hearts believing that God is God forever.
And our lives reflecting God’s heart for all humankind.