On lazy summer days of childhood, I loved nothing better than to grab a book and a blanket and retire to the backyard to read. Oftentimes, I would simply watch the clouds, fascinated by the many faces portrayed there as my imagination soared, unearthing other treasures that kept changing shape and size overhead.
Imagination! Such a wonderful gift! A favorite Bible verse comes to mind: “O Lord my God . . . who makes the clouds His chariot, who walks on the wings of the wind . . .”
(Psalm 104:1, 3).
Books! Travel, adventure, stories (truth or fiction though they be) provided entertainment, knowledge, and enjoyment. For far more years than I care to recall, my choice of books tended to be stories. Over time, I’ve learned to depend on the best Book ever written, the Word of God, penned by some thirty-eight to forty authors inspired by the Spirit of God. Recorded therein are multiple prophecies regarding the promised Messiah, Jesus Christ the righteous, who would deliver humanity from its sinful state.
Delve into the Gospel accounts of His life and ministry. Catch the flavor of life in the times when He walked the highways and byways of Galilee and surrounding areas. The apostle John, that self-declared “disciple whom Jesus loved,” ends his account on the following note:
This is the disciple who testifies of these things, and wrote these things; and we know that his testimony is true. And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen (21:24, 25).
The Bible has been rightly called “His Story.” From beginning to end, you can find reference to Jesus’ part in creation; His role as the “Lamb slain from the foundation of the world”; His birth, ministry, arrest, death, resurrection, and ascension; and the wonderful news that He hasn’t abandoned His people but will come again to redeem His own.
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Clouds! I love the poetry of the Scriptures expressed in clouds. Note the prophet Nahum’s take on them: “The Lord has His way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of His feet” (1:3). But there is another meaning to clouds in the Bible. Hebrews 12 says we’re surrounded by “so great a cloud of witnesses” and encourages us to “run with endurance the race that is set before us” (v. 1).
This truth takes us beyond mere observation of nature. It urges us that now is the time to seek and find the love, forgiveness, grace, and mercy Christ offers. Now is the time to commit to following in His footsteps. As we look deeper into the Book, we see Matthew 24 and Luke 21 recount Jesus’ words regarding many things that will occur on this earth prior to His return.
Heed the warnings. Jesus is coming! And we “will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near” (Luke 21:27, 28).
I still love to sit on our deck with my Bible in hand, blanketed in Christ’s righteousness, reading God’s Word and/or watching the clouds and dreaming of the day when He will return. What a day that will be!
With skies rolled back as parchment scrolls, amid a host of angels and trumpet sound, Jesus will descend, and we shall rise to meet Him as He circles the earth to gather His own. Zechariah writes, “And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives” (14:4), fulfilling the angels’ promise at the time of His ascension: “This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11).
May we be ever watchful. “Even so, come, Lord Jesus!” (Revelation 22:20).