Ever since I was a child one of my favourite things to do, when I am outside or riding along in a car, is to watch clouds. With so many different kinds and such a multitude of different shapes, different sizes and different colours they are an endless source of entertainment. Laying back and staring up at the cyan coloured sky with the fluffy white clusters floating by and morphing into different shapes, I long to be able to reach up and touch one.
Of course, sometimes, these many different clouds gather, drift together and cover the whole sky becoming one great cloud. When the cloud becomes so great, it descends to the ground as fog and we become surrounded by it. This reminds me of the verse I am memorizing.
Hebrews 12:1a says,
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.”
The author is refering to the previous chapter, Hebrews 11, where he talks about the many believers from ancient times who were commended for their faith. Those who he was talking to in Hebrews 12 are now also ancients to us and part of that great cloud of witnesses.
It just so happens, I had also recently been reading, in 2 Kings chapter 6, about the prophet Elisha who had enraged the King of Aram by letting the King of Israel know his battle plans, to prevent Israel from being attacked. The King of Aram, angry and frustrated, decided to send an army, by night, to capture Elisha. When Elisha’s servant got up early the next morning, he looked out and saw the city was surrounded by an army of strong, battle hardened men, with restless, snorting horses and iron chariots! Filled with fear, the servant asked Elisha what they should do.
“‘Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. ‘Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.’
And Elisha prayed, ‘O Lord, open his eyes so he may see.’ Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.” 1 Kings 6:16-17 NIV
Man, I would love to have seen that sight!
The problem with being limited by my human flesh is that I can only see what is temporal, not spiritual; unless God allows it. Like Elisha’s servant I look with faithless eyes and assume I am on my own when difficult times come into my life, when I feel defeated, overwhelmed and discouraged. In reality though, I am surrounded with God’s powerful army of fire and the testimony of faithful witnesses. When I think of the courage of those who have gone before me and whose testimony and words have inspired me, I am grateful. But when I remember those who have touched my life through all these years, those who have encouraged, taught, corrected, blessed, inspired and demonstrated love, my heart overflows with joy and thankfulness!
So the next time you look up at the clouds, remember, you are not alone. All over the world are fellow saints testifying to the truth and surrounding us with prayer for the battle, in the spiritual world are the saints who have gone before us cheering us on and God’s army of angels is fighting on our behalf.
Take heart and remember! Pray and ask for spiritual eyes to see! And don’t forget to be praying for each other. Reach out to touch a cloud.