If we want to know what clouds of affliction mean & why they are sent
we can’t flee away from them in fright with closed ears & bandaged eyes.
Fleeing from the cloud is fleeing from the God’s love behind the cloud.
In one of the German picture-galleries is a painting called “Cloudland”;
it hangs at the end of a long gallery, and at first sight it looks like
a huge repulsive daub of confused color, without form or beauty.
As you walk towards it the picture begins to take shape; it proves
to be a mass of exquisite little cherub faces, like those at the head
of the canvas in Raphael’s “Madonna San Sisto.”
If you come close to the picture, you see only an innumerable company
of little angels & cherubim!
How often our soul is frightened by trials. We see nothing but confused
and a repulsive mass of broken expectations & crushed hopes!
But if our soul, instead of fleeing away into unbelief & despair, would only
draw up near to God, it would soon discover that the cloud is full of angels
In one cherub-face it would see “Whom I love I chasten.”
Another angel would say, “All things work together for good to them that love God.”
In still another sweet face the heavenly words are coming forth,
“Let not your heart be troubled; believe also in Me. In my Father’s house are many mansions. Where I am there shall you be also.”
God’s ways are not our ways, but God’s ways are infinitely better.
The cloud is not so dense but love-rays shine through.
In time the revealing “winds shall clear” away the dark & dreadful mystery.
Kind words of sympathy steal into the shadowed room of incongruity.
If Christ does not come in visible form to our Bethanys,
He sends His faithful servants and handmaidens with words of warm,
John 14 never gleams with such a celestial brightness as when we read it
under the cloud. No cloud can be big enough to shut out heaven if we keep
the eye towards God’s Throne.
When we see the cloud from God’s side it will be blazing & beaming with
the illumination of His love. The Lamb which is in the midst of the throne
will be our Shepherd & He will guide us to fountains of waters of life.
God will wipe away every tear from our eyes.