When Clouds Gather
11 p.m. Wednesday 13th Dec 2017
I stand outdoors at in the cool night air, watching the skies with my beloved. A Spectacular Sky Show is expected—the Geminids Meteor shower 2017. Aaaarrrgh! Mosquitos feast on me and I am covered in bites. But ... as my eyes adjust to the night, I am mesmerised by the brilliant stars studded in the dark heavens—sparkling jewels on black velvet. And beauty wraps its soft cloak around me. Shan and I are able to make out a few constellations in the region—Taurus, The Seven Sisters, Orion, but we need to strain our eyes to locate Gemini from where the meteors would burst forth. Our long wait is rewarded as two meteors shoot across the sky. Ooo! Beautiful! This little lass can now scuttle off to bed very happy.
I was happy because I anticipated viewing an even grander display at 4.30 next morning, when the meteor appearance would peak to 22 an hour. How exciting! I put out my reading light at midnight, and set my alarm for 4.30. I’d usually sleep through ... but not this time. When my alarm jolted me awake, I jumped up half asleep. Unfortunately, in my clumsy attempts to turn it off, I knocked the clock from its perch. The loud screech however continued to penetrate the quiet night. Oh no! My man badly needed his sleep after his extra busy week.
“So sorry darling!” I groped around the carpet, hunting in vain for that dratted (pardon my language) alarm clock. My beloved was very gracious even in his drowsy state. ‘It’s OK” His loving assurance in sleep-filled syllables made me feel even worse for spoiling his much needed sleep. I scrambled around on hands and knees now, desperate, and in my haste, I banged my head. Ouch! There was still no clock to be seen. I HAD to put the light on. More fumbling, and whew … at last I found the clock, squawking rudely, wedged between the mattress and my bedside table. I turned it off, then slipped out to our family room where I got dressed. I opened our front door and stepped out. Now for the brilliant sky show. I rubbed my hands in glee and looked up at the stars!
Stars? What stars? The sky was full of clouds. Oh no! You drew the curtains on my spectacular night show, God! I’d awoken my tired hard-working husband, received a painful bump on my head, was covered in mozzie bites … all for nothing? Muttering to myself, I undressed, got back into my nightdress and went to bed. The one bright spot was that I had not disturbed my beloved after all—he was sleeping peacefully. Thank you God.
Sometimes life’s like that isn’t it? Hopes and dreams crumble. Eager desires come to naught. Clouds gather and the future is uncertain. My mind reflects on what that first Christmas must have been like. Hundreds of prophecies of a coming Messiah had been preached by many prophets sent by God over more than a thousand years. But then … a sudden silence. God was absent—or so it seemed. 400 long years of silence. Four Hundred Years!
Where was God?
What was He doing?
The curtains may have been drawn, but the stage behind them was being set. Like the cloud filled skies during my meteor-watch, the skies over God’s people were filled with the dark clouds of doubt and uncertainty. But ... that period of silence did come to an end. At the appointed time, God flung open the curtains to reveal the mystery of His plan. The mystery included a tiny baby boy born in a smelly stable. He had been a conceived by a virgin and His first visitors were a band of poor shepherds.
A bit unorthodox don't you think?
Have clouds of uncertainty been filling your skies lately? Has all hope receded? Do you wonder why God is silent and where He is? Do not despair dear friend. The world is sometimes a sad and lonely place, true, torn by suffering, sin and strife. God might seem to be absent but I can assure you that He is always present and always at work, often behind the scenes. The answer to our quest is found as we tiptoe into Bethlehem. There in a manger we will find the Saviour of the world.
The Son of God came that the sons and daughters of men would become sons and daughters of God. In a dark, cloud-filled night, Jesus Christ is the Bright Morning Star.
Let’s hurry to Bethlehem to worship Him, King of kings and Lord of Lords.
In Him, You will find in Him everything you ever need.
This Christmas, may you experience and know the love of God in all its fullness.
"It came upon that midnight clear,
That glorious song of old.
From angels bending near the earth
To touch their harps of gold:
“Peace on the earth, good will to men
From heaven’s all-gracious King.”
The world in solemn stillness lay
To hear the angels sing.
Still through the cloven skies they come
With peaceful wings unfurled,
And still their heavenly music floats
O’er all the weary world.
Above its sad and lowly plains
They bend on hovering wing,
And ever o’er its babel sounds
The blessed angels sing.
For lo! the days are hastening on,
By prophets seen of old,
When with the ever-circling years
Shall come the time foretold,
When the new heaven and earth shall own
The Prince of Peace their King,
And the whole world send back the song
Which now the angels sing." Edmund Sears
A very Blessed Christmas to you and your loved ones.