A few days ago, I walked outside after one of Iowa's frequent summer thunderstorms. The sun emerged from behind the clouds and this perfect rose glowed with beauty, the drops of rain still clinging between her petals.
It brought to memory one of my mother's favorite hymns -- one she would often quote when I had storms in my young life:
Back of the Clouds by Carolyn R. Freeman
Never fear tho' shadows dark around your path may fall;
Do not let your heart be troubled;
From His throne in heaven,
God is watching one and all,
He will ever care for you.
Back of the clouds the sun is always shining,
After the storms your skies will all be blue;
God has prepared a rosy-tinted lining,
Back of the clouds it's waiting to shine thru.
Winter long is over and the spring has gone her way,
Often has the storm clouds gathered,
But the rain has only made the blossoms look more gay...
Given earth a brighter hue.
Keep the light of hope eternal dwelling in your heart,
Rest upon the Father's promise,
And you'll find that care and trouble will depart...
Heaven's peace will enter in.
God never promises there won't be storms in our lives. But He does promise:
He will be with us in the storm: When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, And through the rivers, they will not overflow. Isaiah 43:2
He will give us strength to endure: He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power. Isaiah 40:29
His blessings never run out: This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. The Lord's loving kindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail, They are new every morning; Great is thy faithfulness.
Whatever storm you are going through right now, may you have the peace of God's promises, and the assurance that, back of the clouds, the Son shines for you.
I recently had this photo made into a canvas print for our newly remodeled bathroom. I chose it because it is a lovely image of a trail in the woods, and no setting brings me more peace and joy. I remember the day I took it, a lovely fall walk with my husband and our beloved dog, Annie, in the Chequamegon National Forest in northern Wisconsin.
The print hung on my bathroom wall for a month and I gazed at it every single day. Not until this week did I notice that Annie is in the picture. She blended in with the yellow leaves of the maple trees so well that I believed this was a photo depicting only a path.
I was delighted to find her in the picture, and now it is impossible to not see her. I gaze at it and not only imagine being on the path, but being with Annie again.
I have a Heavenly Father who places me in living scenes, some of them peaceful and filled with joy, some with heartache that seems unbearable. But just like my photo of the trail, I am not seeing all of the picture.
God, with Divine Wisdom, only allows me to see part of what is happening in my life. Most of His plans and purposes for me are still hidden from my dim eyes. Someday, I will see clearly, and for all of those scenes I don't understand there will be an "ah-hah!" moment. I will see the Big Picture. For now, I have to trust that He is in control, He has a perfect plan for my life, and He will carry me through.
Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. 1 Corinthians 13:12
How about you? Did you find Annie? And are you trusting God in the scenes of your life where you don't see clearly?
Susan Lawrence taught elementary school for 33 years before hanging up her chalkboard to write and speak. She writes novels for both adults and middle grade children. Susan lives in Iowa with her husband and short-legged Lab, Molly. She has 3 children and 7 grandchildren who love to hear her stories.