Saturday, February 4, 2012


In June of 2005, our son Aaron spent a week serving on a mission project in the state, and returned home on a Saturday.  The following Wednesday he was leaving for a week in the Bahamas on another project, and then on to Jamaica to work at a Baptist camp for 5 weeks.  His airline tickets had arrived while he was with away for the week, but I had verified that he had his tickets from Richmond to Ft. Lauderdale, Ft. Lauderdale to Bahamas, Bahamas to Ft. Lauderdale, Ft. Lauderdale to Jamaica, Jamaica to Ft. Lauderdale, and Ft. Lauderdale to Richmond.  His dad and brother were on a church mission trip in Atlanta that week, so it fell my responsibility to get him to the airport for an EARLY flight. 

We left home about 3:30 AM, and let’s just say, I was decent, but not dressed for anything but dropping him off at the curb at the airport, because I was going to go home and back to bed.

Before we even got in the car, I made him show me his tickets for both trips and his passport----he had everything.  As he drove along in the dark, I commented, “Well, today is your cousin Sarah’s 15th birthday.”  He looked at me, and said, “What is today’s date?”  “The 29th,” I answered, to which he replied, “My tickets are dated the 28th.”
I thought he was kidding, but sure enough, they were for the day before.  And because the limit on his credit card wasn’t very high, I knew he couldn’t pay any additional charges to change the ticket, so, dressed as I was in sweats and with ‘bedhead’, I had to go inside the airport.  For something like $282 we got the tickets changed (Cameron likes to say Aaron was a day late and $282 short), he got to the Bahamas, and somehow managed to catch up with the people who probably were waiting for him the day before!

A week later, he headed to Jamaica, at exactly the same time as Hurricane Dennis.   Seriously, the arrival time was the same.  In fact, as I tried to track the flight, I got “No information on this flight”----which was a little unnerving; no it was very unnerving.   However, they arrived safely, managed to get to the camp, and waited out Dennis.  Exactly one week later, Hurricane Emily decided to pay a visit as well, and they actually had to evacuate the camp.   During those times, as we waited for word that they were safe, I vividly remember the hymn, “Till the Storm Passes Over” running through my head over and over again.

On to the point----as Aaron left home I gave him a card, with this Scripture written inside, as a prayer of protection from the sun and the elements while spending most of the summer in the tropics:

Isaiah 4:5-6
Then the LORD will create over all of Mount Zion and over those who assemble there a cloud of smoke by day and a glow of flaming fire by night; over all the glory will be a canopy. It will be a shelter and shade from the heat of the day, and a refuge and hiding place from the storm and rain.
 (I had no idea how providential that choice was!)

I later began to think of how many times “clouds” appear in the Bible:

Genesis 9:13
I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth.

Exodus 13:21-22
By day the LORD went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night.  Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people.

Exodus 19:9
The LORD said to Moses, "I am going to come to you in a dense cloud, so that the people will hear me speaking with you and will always put their trust in you." Then Moses told the LORD what the people had said.

1 Kings 8:10-12 (after the ark of the covenant was taken into Solomon’s temple)
 When the priests withdrew from the Holy Place, [a] cloud filled the temple of the LORD. And the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled his temple.

 Then Solomon said, "The LORD has said that he would dwell in a dark cloud; I have indeed built a magnificent temple for you, a place for you to dwell forever."

Psalm 147:8
He covers the sky with clouds; he supplies the earth with rain and makes grass grow on the hills.

Isaiah 44:22
I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return to me, for I have redeemed you."

Matthew 17:5
While he was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!"

Matthew 26:64
"Yes, it is as you say," Jesus replied. "But I say to all of you: In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven."

1 Thessalonians 4:17
After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.

Hebrews 12:1
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

So often we think of clouds as a negative thing, “It’s such a gray, cloudy, day,” or,   “I feel like I have a huge dark cloud hanging over me.”  I encourage you, the next time you feel like that, remember, God is in the clouds, providing shelter, and shade, and refuge and a hiding place.  And as we all know from flying, just above the clouds, the sun is shining.
At the end of the summer, Aaron returned safely home from Jamaica with a gift for us----a print of the church that provided them with a place to stay when they had to evacuate the camp.  The church is aptly named, Grateful Hill Baptist Church.  It hangs in our front hallway, a constant reminder of God’s provision in the midst of a storm.

(Mosie Lister)
In the dark of the midnight have I oft hid my face,
While the storm howls above me, and there's no hiding place.
'Mid the crash of the thunder, Precious Lord, hear my cry,
Keep me safe till the storm passes by.
Till the storm passes over, till the thunder sounds no more,
Till the clouds roll forever from the sky;
Hold me fast, let me stand in the hollow of Thy hand,
Keep me safe till the storm passes by.
Many times Satan whispered, "There is no need to try,
For there's no end of sorrow, there's no hope by and by"
But I know Thou art with me, and tomorrow I'll rise
Where the storms never darken the skies.
Till the storm passes over, till the thunder sounds no more,
Till the clouds roll forever from the sky;
Hold me fast, let me stand in the hollow of Thy hand,
Keep me safe till the storm passes by.
When the long night has ended and the storms come no more,
Let me stand in Thy presence on the bright peaceful shore;
In that land where the tempest, never comes, Lord, may I
Dwell with Thee when the storm passes by.
Till the storm passes over, till the thunder sounds no more,
Till the clouds roll forever from the sky;
Hold me fast, let me stand in the hollow of Thy hand,
Keep me safe till the storm passes by. 

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