Thursday, September 29, 2011

God shines through our clouds

By Theresa Montminy
Chancellor

When clouds gather, we get discouraged. It’s a natural reaction. Our eyes tell us to run for cover or to hang on for survival. And we believe our eyes. We put an awful lot of faith in what they tell us. We let their information sink into our hearts and thrive there . . . no matter how painful that is. Can peace be the safe harbor we look for when we are in pain? We know that peace can lead us toward joy, patience and faith in the things we cannot see.

Our perspectives can be distorted so easily. We are habitual twisters, making dark things our surest truth, and, God’s light our most uncertain refuge. Such distortion is a sure recipe for despair. Instead, we are to believe what the Word and the Spirit tell us, regardless of the witness of the clouds . . . God always looms larger.

Until we’re trained in this perspective, our mind cannot be at peace. When we are faced with the choice between letting the clouds obscure Him or letting Him obscure the clouds, we must place our hope not in what our eyes tell us ~ that is too often hopeless ~ but in our faith in God. If we do not place our trust in Him we overestimate our problems and to underestimate our God.

So what steps can lead us toward making peace during the moments of storm in our life? First, we are to fix our eyes on hope and to be joyful about it. God has given us a glimpse of reality: His strength, His Kingdom’s inevitability, His promise of intervention, His eternal rewards. Why would we let a few clouds undermine those certainties? Second, we are to be patient in affliction. Those realities are invisible for a time, but they will be clear soon enough. And last, we are to be faithful in prayer. Why? Not because prayer changes things, but because God changes things and we must communicate with Him. His intervention is not arbitrary; it is the result of the give-and-take of relationship, and prayer is the means to that relationship. When we’ve follow these steps, we notice a remarkable transformation: clouds don’t seem to matter so much anymore. We find peace in knowing that we are fulfilling His will with our life.

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