Closer than the Clouds

“Listen to me…you whom I have upheld since you were conceived, and have carried since your birth.  Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you.  I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.”—Isaiah 46:3-4

Today as I drove, our four-year-old son was jabbering away about wanting to “live in the fluffy clouds”—about how much better it would be because “smoke couldn’t get you,” and “you couldn’t get fired up”.  Translation=caught on fire…maybe he was listening to the news reports on the radio about wildfires across America. 

I was drilling him about what he’d do without a house to live in, trees or flowers, or any of the other trappings of this life I cling to so fiercely.  He answered that we could maybe take the trappings to the clouds, “if God made the clouds strong enough,” but he didn’t really seem to think any of it was necessary.  I said I liked living here on earth just fine.  Translation = I wasn’t in fantasy mode right then—distracted, you know, with “more important thoughts”.

“Why’s that, Mom?”

“Oh, I dunno, I just think God gave us a nice enough place to live already.”

“But if we lived on the clouds, we could be closer to God, and get to him easier—the way Jesus did!”  He and his sister Andrea often did that, point me back to God.

Immediately my thoughts zigzagged from wherever they had been to something I had just read in Acts 1:9-11, “After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.  They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them.  ‘Men of Galilee,’ they said, ‘why do you stand here looking in the sky?’”

Why do I look up at the sky for help when I’m sinking? in need of help? lost? lonely? exhausted? invalidated? Or even exuberant, for that matter?  It’s as if I ignore the very vessels – people - God steered into my port specifically for me.  God carefully chooses the people and circumstances in my life with whom I can talk and listen, love and be loved, laugh and cry, grow and heal.

Ironically, I was making the near final turn in to a ministry team meeting when Michael made one of his what I call “mini-Billy Graham” comments.  I shared his wisdom and the lesson God taught me through his simple words to the team…and realized these women were the some of the vessels God put in my life as His “hands and feet”. 

These women I was meeting with repeatedly encouraged me when we gathered together through years of depression, pointed me to Truth, and simply loved me in all my imperfections…just like Jesus would.  It made my heart soar to think my son could be so prophetic by pointing me back to God with something as silly as clouds. Lest I get entangled in a healthy dose of puffy pride or entertain lofty ideas that my son would become a preacher prodigy, he later said that same day, “Mom, I need a Sharper Image!!” 

What an extraordinary opportunity we all have.  You and I have, with the people God puts right in front of us, a chance to pick each other up off the “poop deck” and have a great time to boot.  Let’s stop looking in the clouds for Him and just look around.  God is here and He shows Himself through His children.  Who can He show Himself to through you today?

“The Lord God has given me his words of wisdom so that I may know what I should say to all these weary ones.”—Isaiah 50:4, LB

Rhonda DiGenova and her husband of 32 years are empty nesters in Vancouver WA. Kidspirations was originally a newsletter column Rhonda wrote while their children were preschoolers that she called Tales from the Crib…and Beyond! Their children are thriving adults—in spite of colossal parenting fails. Andrea is now 24, married to Juan and lives in Idaho. Michael is 23 and works full time in eastern Washington. Both are actively involved in ministering to college students.