We’ve had a string of warm days here. But most mornings start out foggy. A heavy marine layer traps in the humidity and cool breezes out of the west. I run along the road, high on the petunia fragrance, and pretend I won’t be baking later. Tra-la!
Clouds make me think of mercy. Remember the cloud in the Old Testament?
The LORD went ahead of them. He guided them during the day with a pillar of cloud, and he provided light at night with a pillar of fire. This allowed them to travel by day or by night. – Exodus 13:21
Where I come from, clouds most often present as rain, except in the summer. These summertime hazes burn off in the early afternoon. But they’ve taken the zing out of the sun. The sun experiences a certain amount of stunting in its regular orbit. The day doesn’t get nearly as hot if the sun spent the morning thwarted by the marine layer.
In the blazing heat of the desert, the Lord presented Himself as a cloud. I see the Lord shielding the Israelites, providing some shade in a burning land. He blocked some of the dry, debilitating heat only deserts provide. Plus, the cloud would be easy to see in a sun-drenched land. Blue sky, golden sand and a towering gray cloud.”One of these things is not like the other, one of these things just doesn’t belong…”
Clouds also obscure the sky. They can make it hard to see and sometimes they depress us. Their grayness, day after day, wearies us. We long to see the sunshine again. Knowing the Israelites, they probably had some complaints of this variety. “Oh, to see the sky again! Why don’t God’s clouds every make it rain?” And so on.
And yet I pray you experience some of this “cloud action” in your life. Clouds serve a purpose. They’re part of the plan, just like the seasons. God’s clouds protect us (Psalm 84), and then, at the right time, the payoff.