Monday, September 13, 2010

A Widow With Her Head in the Clouds

Monday's topic is grief. The process, the twists and turns, the questions, the hope . . .

It's been cloudy here the last several days---not so much here in Ohio. I mean here in my soul. Clouds of loneliness, helplessness and hopelessness banked up, pressed in one upon another, and shut out the light of God's goodness and the truth that He cares for me.

But then (and those are two biblical and spiritual words, two of the most wonderful words in the world because they forecast a change, a breakthrough, a second chance---so let me say them again)--but then something happened in God's perfect timing. A friend sent me an email with a challenge to look at a particular verse in the Bible.

Here it is: ". . . and clouds are the dust of His feet." Nahum 1:3 NIV

I wondered. Was there any correlation between the hopeless clouds I felt in my heart, and the clouds in the sky above me that were the dust of God's footprints? Would God ever turn and look back at his footprints? And in doing so would He ever notice the dismal gloom that I stumbled beneath? Does He see? Does He care?

Or maybe He's too big, maybe I'm too small . . .

My friend reminded me that many of us have suffered clouds of grief, pain, illness, loss and disappointments. And she reminded me that clouds have always been very important to God. From the mist and the firmament in the the Genesis creation account, the pillar of cloud that the Israelites followed out of Egypt, Christ's ascension up to heaven in a cloud, to Revelation's second coming of Christ upon clouds of glory, clouds always indicate God's holiness and His protective covering over our human frailty.

"But what about these clouds in my heart?" I almost whispered. They were thick and imposing. Serious, life altering thunderheads, not just threatening my own inner peace, identity and happiness. These clouds would have tangible wrong-choice consequences to my children for years to come and I am helpless against them.

My friend didn't answer. She hadn't heard my half-formed whisper. But God did. If clouds were the dust of his footprints, then the clouds in my heart meant, "I've got you covered." I was under His shadow, His footprint. He was above me, far over me, and He'd already marked the trail for me. The clouds in my heart were the evidence: God had been there; I was covered.

But now I have a choice, as grief and life so often offer. The clouds haven't vanished, I still have a heart full of problems. I'm as certain as a weatherman that these clouds will bring some storms. But I can choose to believe they are the dust of God's footprints and He has me covered, or I can choose to despair. For today I choose to live with my head in the clouds, believing that God has me covered. The dust of God's footprints mark the trail of His path for me.

How's the forecast for your heart?

The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in Him. Nahum 1:7 NIV


  1. I believe I've said it before here, or maybe on your FB page, but Christian music was almost 100% responsible for my not losing hope and avoiding depression after John died. It focused my eyes and my heart on the Lord, not on the pain inside my heart. As I praised the Lord with my voice (and my soul), He healed me and I felt absolutely loved and completely enveloped by His grace. I still miss my husband's arms around me, and I wish he was here to see his sons grow, but I know he is enjoying his time with God, and that we will see him again. And I know that in the meantime, I will be lifted up by God and held in His mighty hand.

  2. No doubt about that! Not only the restoring abilities of music, but also, praise and gratitude raise us up, AND there's this really wonderful truth in the Psalms that God INHABITS praise. So filling our hearts and minds with praise music opens the door to God Himself! Thanks for sharing and living this truth out in front of us, Kelly! I thank Jesus for our friendship. hugs to you. :)


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