January 7, 2006

Matthew 14:29-31 – He said, "Come." So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, "Lord, save me." Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?" (ESV)

My window at work looks towards the Cotswold Hills, beautiful beneath a blue sky. But when the clouds descend, the hills become hidden from view. Today, they arrived with snow in them, and true to form, the hills disappeared under the clouds' caress. With the advent of thick snowflakes, the clouds increased their hold on my viewpoint, and soon I could see only the university grounds.

I was taken up with the ferocity of this deluge from the sky, but eventually my focus returned to work. Later, the hillside shroud departed, and I noted the contrast between the sunshine of a clear sky to my left and the total coverage of heavy cloud, mist, and snowfall being relentlessly blown away to my right.

So stark was the contrast between the cloud and snow on the one hand and the bright blue sky on the other, I thought there was a point to this, but I dismissed it as a passing whim.

However, I was to be reminded a second time a few nights later. In contrast to the dark of the night, the cloud reflected the lights of Gloucester city as we drove home. Like a signpost in the sky, the edge between darkness and light was clear to see. It was as if God was giving me a nudge to take note of what had happened previously.

This was my thought: in the middle of some big, agitating event, a cloud of circumstance, we may become shrouded from the greater perspective, and our kingdom goals may seem a distant hope.

Our hearts may be agitated today, but let us be of good courage, because just like the blue sky restored my original perspective of the hills, so too will come the hand of Jesus to lift us.

Prayer: Lord, forgive us for allowing distractions to take our hearts and minds away from Your protective love, and grant us restoration to Your embrace. We rejoice that though You know our doubts and fears, yet You still choose us today. Lord, as You send us out into the world again today, prompt us to keep our eyes focused on Your way. Amen.

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Rod Marshall <>
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England

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