Behind the Cloud
“Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, but I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God” —Psalm 42:11, NIV.
Do you remember the Charlie Brown character who always walks around with a cloud over his head? It’s dust, because he’s a dirty kid. But he reminds me, well, of me.
There are times when no matter how well things are going, how blessed I might be, there always seems to be a cloud lingering overhead. It often goes nameless, not appearing to have an origin or a reason for being. It’s just there.
Perhaps it’s the state of the world: evil run rampant, earthquakes, and friends going through hard times. Perhaps it’s an unfulfilled desire or a blocked path. Perhaps, I’m just tired and in need of some physical and emotional relief from the “day-to-day.” Sometimes, I’m sure, it’s an issue about which I need to get right with God.
The psalmist turns his focus away from the cloud and directs it elsewhere. He tells his listeners to “hope.” One definition for hope is expressed this way: “grounds for believing that something good may happen” and is another word for “trust.” Hope can be misplaced, but not if we put that hope in God.
The psalmist doesn’t instantly see the cloud over his soul disappear in a flash of light, but he does sees that proverbial “silver lining” in the cloud. He knows that eventually he will praise God for relief from the burden of the cloud. In fact, I suspect that he begins to praise God in advance of that relief, knowing that the sound of his heart lifted in worship to the cloud-chaser is a certain path to seeing the sunlight behind it.