Where is the sun on a cloudy day?
I was driving home in the middle of a cloudy winter day in this beautiful frozen state of Michigan. Just the day before, we had experienced a few unusual sunny days in the middle of the usual cold and cloudy days of winter. As I came around the corner where the sun had previously been reflecting on the lake’s icy water and beaming its rays of sunshine through the trees just the day before, the only thing that could now be seen was the cloudy grey sky that comes with a normal cold winter day. It was in that moment, that I, with great disappointment said, “Oh, Mr. Sun, where did you go? Why did you leave us so soon? I needed you to stay just a little longer.”
No sooner I had spoken those words out loud, I felt convicted. The contrast of the scenery I just described to you reminded me of where some of my thoughts had recently wondered off to. You see, much like the few sunshine filled days we had just experienced, I had enjoyed an amazing season. The kind of season where we have the privilege of seeing God’s light shine bright and pushing through the darkness, beaming between the trees. It had been a season of renewal, refreshment, and restoration. It had been a season when dreams that would have appeared to have been dead or lost were now being given new life and shape.
As I stood in the sunshine of that glorious season, I dared to dream bigger with God. I grabbed one of my giant post-it notepads and a sharpie pen. I invited God to guide my hand and give me a vision for His kingdom. God, in His mercy, started giving me glimpses of the next dreams He was calling me to. It was wonderful, truly. My time with God was followed by a couple of phone calls that came my way and would confirm what God had shown me…except the dream had gotten bigger by now, as it usually does with God size dreams. I was not surprised. I believe that God size dreams need to be God-sized to keep us on our knees, dependent on Him so that when they become a reality, the only explanation is God!
So there I was, with a fast beating heart in the middle of the excitement of what God was showing me glimpses of, along with my quickly bending and trembling knees. There isn't such an accelerating feeling like when God gives us a vision that is quickly followed by confirmation. I honestly don't know if my heart could handle those moments on an ongoing basis. I think I would quickly go from writing down God size dreams to standing in His presence if you know what I mean. Maybe that is why God’s glory and His dreams for us are revealed to us in glimpses so that we can live through them and fulfill His purpose.
Now, a question comes to mind, if I know that glimpses are not meant to be permanent, why was I so discouraged when the cold, and cloudy gray of the season came? Looking back, I think the short answer to that question is it was a fast shift in the weather that quickly formed a storm. A storm that would cause enough disturbance and wreckage all around me. A storm that would leave me feeling tired and empty.
It was in the midst of one of those tired and empty moments that I quietly asked the Lord a couple questions: “Lord, what happened? There was no warning. I did not see the storm coming. I am having a hard time not being distracted by the shivering cold in the shift of weather, and the clouds are making it hard to get a clear vision of where you are in the midst of all of this. Where are You, Lord? While God did not bring the storm to a quick end like I know He is able to do, being the gracious God that He is, He quickly tended my aching heart by reminding me of one of His many promises. The promise that regardless if the sun is shining or the sky is gray, as long as I seek Him with all my heart, He and his plans full of hope for a future will be found. (Jeremiah 29:13-11 in that order).
Sweet friend, He wants to tend your heart too. If you find yourself in the midst of a cloudy day like I did in that season, let me encourage you. We must remember, just because the sun doesn’t shine, it doesn't mean that it's not there. Just because we can’t feel the warmth of its sunshine, it doesn't mean that it’s purpose is not being accomplished…even in the midst of those cloudy gray and overcast days. The sun is always there and it will shine again. It really will. Until then, let’s keep holding on to God’s promise; the promise that God never forgets about us or the dreams He has for us. The promise is that if we seek Him we will find Him, when we seek Him with all our heart…ALL of it!
Have you sought after Him today?