Cloudy with a Chance of Guidance
Cloudy days are reason enough for me to stay in my pajamas and curl up on the couch for a Netflix marathon. I do not need any other excuse. I can use clouds as a reason to put off errands that I need to do, and even cancel appointments that have been on the books for months. I can let lingering clouds affect my emotions. The longer they hang around, the darker my mood can grow.
As I read Exodus, I noticed that clouds did not bring about depression, excuses, or binge TV watching. In fact, when you see the word cloud, you can bet that God’s presence is in or near that cloud. This discovery is making me view cloudy days through a different lens.
The Israelites may not have known where they were as they traveled in the wilderness, but they did have a guide. The Lord provided them with shade from a pillar of cloud by day and light from a pillar of fire by night. Whenever and wherever the cloud moved, they were to follow. Knowing where they were going was less important than knowing who they were following. The cloud was a physical sign of the Lord’s presence. He did not leave them, day or night. His presence was to show them the way. If they kept their eyes fixed on the cloud, they would not be lost.