After a brisk walk around the lake, I found a shaded spot to sit where a view of the whole lake spread out before me. The water was calm, and reflected the wide, blue sky and majestic mountains. My attention was drawn to the one large mountain peak in the center of this tranquil scene. It was the highest, but had a wide, darkening cloud overshadowing it.
My first thoughts were sad. What a pity that darkness covered the mountain’s strength and beauty. I wished the cloud would blow over; move away to shadow another place. But looking more closely, I saw that it brought out depth and definition in the mountain that wasn’t perceivable in the bright sunlight. These distinctions added grandeur to the mountain’s appearance.
We are often like this mountain. If given a choice, we would prefer to live our lives in the sunlight, rather than under a cloud. We delight in sunshine, with no problems on the horizon. But often, the beauty of our Christian nature is brought out by the trials that overshadow our lives. God’s gift of peace can be most evident in times of turmoil. Our patience, or lack of, is most evident when it is being tested. Our spirit of joy often shows best in times of hardship.
The clouds also bring rain. The water that nourishes the lush blanket of grass and flowers that grow and add beauty to our appearance, comes from these dark overshadowing clouds. Even the water that runs off clears away debris and creates furrows and ridges that add depth to our character.
Sometimes, the clouds bring violent storms. Lightening may strike, and split the ground; leaving an open wound, an ugly gash of devastation in our lives. Even this is a gift. For the wound creates a new, clear, fertile place where nothing had an opportunity to grow before.
Many times, the sweetest, most beautiful flowers are seen in the shadowy depths of a chasm created by a trauma to the mountain. And, many times, the sweetest, most beautiful blessings in our lives, grow from the deepest hurts.
Appreciate the clouds.