I’m Awake Now!
I opened my eyes just before 7:00 am as I’ve done countless times. But never before had the view from my bed slapped me so fully awake.
Breath-taking, snow-capped mountains towered just beyond my open balcony door. It felt like I could touch them.
Waking up in Kiental, Switzerland has its rewards.
Called by the view, I stepped out onto the balcony and stood in silent, grateful awe.
I’m really living this moment.
I drank in the view as I snapped some pictures, grabbed my Bible, and settled in to enjoy the morning with God.
It doesn’t get better than this.
And then the clouds came.
Uninvited clouds rolled in like annoying tourists and shrouded the distant alps.
Peak by peak.
I didn’t ask for clouds. Nevertheless, there they were. And there went my mountains.
Peak by peak. Gone. Just like God’s Truth at times.
Or so it seems.
The Swiss Alps — like God’s Truth — hadn’t changed.
The Swiss Alps were still there, but, I couldn’t see them anymore.
Honestly, the clouds were beautiful in their own right. They crawled across the landscape as if alive.
But, not as stunning as those towering, sharp, snow-capped peaks I’d just been admiring. The ones I’d dreamt of since the day my friend Karen and I began planning this trip.
And now they were gone — veiled by clouds just like the ones I can see every day at home for free.
I’d almost missed the view of the distant alps completely.
Only a few more minutes of slumber would’ve cost me my even-better-than-coffee-early-morning-wake-up-call.
A Shroud of Clouds
The distant alps remained cloaked all morning.
And the weather report staring at me from my iPhone removed any hope for the next day. Or the next.
Clouds forecasted for the rest of our stay. Great.
Seriously, what if I hadn’t woken up when I did? Before the clouds began their menacing march?
I hadn’t set an alarm. I just happened to wake up.
I knew then, God woke me. He called me to the balcony just in time. He knew what was coming.
What if I’d rolled over and grabbed “just one more minute” of sleep instead of answering his call?
Sitting on a balcony in the heart of the Swiss Alps, I felt cheated.
It occurred to me — as I’m sure it did you — that I ought to just be grateful for the beauty still before me.
But, but, but . . . Ugh. I live in South Carolina. When could I see mountains like that again?
Clouds, we’ve got — 15,000 ft. peaks, we don’t.
My whining thoughts stirred up a poignant thought.
As beautiful as the world in which we live is, it’s still a lesser view compared to what awaits us in heaven.
Beyond here lies a reality much greater and glorious than anything even the Swiss Alps have to offer.
Heaven remains hidden for now, only to be enjoyed by those who catch a glimpse past the shroud of clouds to the Truth and embrace it.
The Truth is there, but sometimes it’s veiled by a shroud of clouds.
The Lesson of the Clouds
Long ago, the morning Light of Truth woke me with its dazzling beauty. I jumped up, raced out the balcony and embraced the Truth of Christ.
But then a few clouds rolled in — A busy schedule. Struggles. Doubts. New desires.
The clouds dimmed my view of the Truth. And I began to doubt what I’d even seen.
Little by little, I became more content with the lesser view, but never fully content.
A distant pang of desire for that greater view I’d once enjoyed gnawed at me, even as the shroud of clouds pushed that longing to the side. For another day.
But then one day, a sunbeam broke through. And I remembered.
I remembered the clear Truth I’d once seen.
I now saw past the clouds to the Truth in its radiant glory. And I wondered how I could ever have doubted or forgotten.
Since then, I’ve lived with the greater view in focus. Even when clouds roll in. And they do.
Disappointments and fear cloud my vision.
Heartache cloaks the Truth for the moment.
Pride is as effective as black-out curtains in smothering our view of Truth.
But I remember that as tantalizing as my pride may be, or as suffocating as fear or heartache may feel, Truth remains.
I cling to the Truth, and the clouds pass.
They always do.
Even in the darkness of night, Truth shines through.
Clouds will come and go, but Truth remains forever.
Wake Up to the Light
Has the morning Light of Truth beckoned you?
Wake up, rush out to the balcony, and embrace it.
Don’t wait. Clouds are coming.
Embrace the Truth of Jesus Christ and live every day enjoying the greater view.
Live beyond the shroud of clouds.
Clouds Aren’t All Bad
Lest I give you the impression that clouds are bad. They’re not.
If certain “clouds” serve to block your view of Truth, they must be dealt with. But God uses everything that touches our life to draw us to Christ and then to shape and conform us into the image of His Son.
But the best thing about clouds is that Jesus is coming back in them! Amen.
And then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory.
Mark 13:26 NASB
Enjoy Chris Tomlin’s worship song “Our God.”
Our God is greater, stronger, and higher than any other.