Monday, February 20, 2012

My Cloud By Day and My Fire By Night

God begins and ends each day with beauty. I can’t decide which I love better—sunrises or sunsets. Both capture me—the golden glow of a sunrise as it peeks above the trees, and the purple and pink radiance of a sunset just before it disappears for the night. For the longest time, I favored sunsets, partially because I stayed up too late to actually see morning’s first light. But my partiality changed about three months ago.

Last November, I saw a sunrise that made me run to find my camera. The sky was filled with charcoal-colored clouds that seemed to be set “on fire” by the rising sun. The clouds glowed with a brilliant light, and I thought, God is in the clouds. I know that we can’t see God in physical form, but the clouds glowed so much from within that it made me think of the pillar of cloud and the pillar of fire mentioned in Exodus (Exod 13:21). God’s very presence went before the Israelites in a cloud by day and a fire by night. These were a constant reminder that He was always with them, leading them, protecting them, and providing for them.

God is always near us. As His children, we don’t have to look for a cloud or a fire for comfort and guidance. God has made His home within us (John 14:23). The fire of His love warms our hearts, and by the Holy Spirit who lives inside of us, God guides us through all of life. He also speaks to us through His word and draws us close to His heart as we study it and talk to Him in prayer. He stays with us throughout the day, and when we fall asleep, He stands guard, always watching over us. His love, joy, and peace plant a permanent glow in our hearts that reminds us He is real, He cares about us, and He will never leave us.

The next time you see a beautiful sunrise or sunset, take a minute to think about the One who created it. His glory and majesty are matchless, and His love is constant. “From the rising of the sun to its going down,” may the LORD’s name be praised (Psalm 113:3 NKJV).

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