November 17, 2021 - Judges 13:15-24; Ruth 1:19-21; Isaiah 9:6-7
The day dawns brightly even though there are clouds between us and the sunshine. This is a truth we often miss as we look at the underside of the clouds in the sky. In much the same way we struggle to understand the challenges that come into our lives as we only have access to one side of the equation.
Manoah was the father of Samson that struggled with God’s plan for his family’s future. An angel of the Lord had spoken to his wife an astounding promise of a son. Manoah desired a word of confirmation yet when the angel arrived and confirmed the promise, Manoah’s response was fear and unworthiness. “We shall surely die, because we have seen God!” (Judges 13:22).
Naomi was a woman who followed her husband and dark clouds filled her life as he and her two sons passed away suddenly (Ruth 1:3-5). During this period of grief, she changed her name from Naomi (pleasant) to Mara (bitter) as all she could see was the clouds of grief and sorrow. The sun was shining but all that could be seen was the clouds of adversity and grief.
Isaiah was a prophet in a nation that was in darkness and about to be exiled. The forecast was filled with adversity and suffering for him and his people. Yet the prophet is given a message filled with hope through a Child that would be born (9:6). The people of Israel could not see the promise through the darkness of their present time.
Do you feel that the clouds are thick overhead and God is distant and unseen? Does it appear your life is a tangle of broken and twisted events that only point toward disaster? Take courage, Charlotte Murray penned these words as a prayer;
“Father, my life is in a tangle, thread after thread appears, twisted and broken and knotted, viewed through the lapse of years. I cannot straighten them, Father; Oh, it is very hard; somehow or other it seemeth, all I have done is marred. I did not see they were getting into this tangled state; how it is happened I know not- is it too late, too late? Is it? “Ah No!” Thou dost whisper, “Out of this life of thine yet may come wonderful beauty wrought by My power divine.” Take then, the threads, O my Father, let them Thy mind fulfill, work out in love a pattern after Thy holy will.”
Like Manoah, Naomi, and the people of Israel, you may look at circumstances and see nothing but angry clouds and hopelessness rolling over your life. The storm will pass, and the Sun will reappear as God affirms His love for you. He is, “… Extraordinary Strategist, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). (The Net Bible).