In Exodus 20:21, after Moses received the ten commandments, the Israelites were terrified and asked for Moses to speak to them lest they die after witnessing the thunderings, lightnings, and sound of the trumpet. Exodus 20:21 says, “So the people stood afar off, but Moses drew near the thick darkness where God was.”
The point that can be taken in this devotional moment is that you shouldn’t be afraid to enter the cloud descending on your life — because God is in it. And the other side is radiant with His glory. Peter encouraged, “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy” (1 Peter 4:12-13). When you feel the most forsaken and lonely, God is near. He is in the darkest cloud. He is waiting for you, waiting for you to “submit” to Him, waiting for you to “draw near” to Him, and waiting for you to “resist” the devil (James 4:7-10). When you do this, He will “draw near” to you and “lift you up.” What majestic promises!
A man once stood on a high peak of the Rocky Mountains watching a raging storm below. As he watched, an eagle came up through the clouds and soared away toward the sun. The water on its wings glistened in the sunlight like diamonds. If not for the storm, the eagle might have remained in the valley. In the same way, the unhappiness of life can produce an ascension toward God.