by Charles R. Swindoll
Storm clouds gather. Problem is, they're the wrong kind. We need rain desperately, but these clouds hold no rain. These clouds are depressing, not unlike the kind Winston Churchill described in his first volume on World War II, which he titled The Gathering Storm. I cannot forget his terse, apt description of those months prior to the Nazi blitzkrieg that ultimately leveled much of London: "the future was heavy with foreboding."
Storm clouds without rain. War clouds without relief. Such clouds not only cast ominous shadows of uneasiness, they breed pessimism. And unless I miss my guess, many of you are paying more attention to the bad news according to CNN than you are to the Good News according to Christ Jesus, our Lord. You're better students of world geography, public polls, and the Wall Street Journal's analysis of our times than you are of God's sovereign hand in world affairs and His prophetic plan.
Lest you forget, He is still in charge. As the prophet Nahum stated so confidently: "The LORD is slow to anger and great in power; the LORD will not leave the guilty unpunished. His way is in the whirlwind and the storm, and clouds are the dust of his feet" (Nah. 1:3, NIV).
Stop. Read that again, only more slowly this time.
When God is in clear focus, His powerful presence eclipses our fears. The clouds become nothing more than "the dust of His feet."
Seeing above the clouds won't just happen, however. Not as long as we keep feeding our minds on daily doses of media madness and political pessimism. We need to release our fears and refresh our souls as we spend time in the quiet presence of the living Lord.
When we do, we are then able to get on with life with a lighter heart, better sight, and calmer spirit. We discover again how beautifully the truth can set us free.
I can't promise that the clouds will be gone, but I can assure you, you won't be the same. Gathering storm clouds don't change overnight . . . but by learning to see above them, you'll change. And in the final analysis, that's what counts, isn't it? Not removing the clouds, but seeing above them.
When we have God in clear focus, His powerful presence eclipses our fears.
Excerpted from Day by Day with Charles Swindoll, Copyright © 2000 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. (Thomas Nelson Publishers). All rights reserved worldwide. Used by permission.