A little black cloud

A couple of Sundays ago I woke up feeling as if there was a little black cloud over my head.  It surprised me as there was no reason I could think of for it to be there.  Living in the southern hemisphere we were fast approaching the shortest day and so it was before sunrise.  My room was grey with pre-dawn light.  But still, the promise of sunshine was there.

So why the cloud?  It irritates me when, from time to time, these little clouds drift into my life.  I am content. There are good things on the horizon.  And I do try to remember Paul’s words to be content in any circumstance.  So this cloud was annoying.

I decided not to let it colour my day.  I got up and drew the curtains back.  There were a couple of small (real) clouds to the west – tinged with pink from the sun.  And I did what I always do when feeling this way.

I sang.

Not any old song but one of my favourite hymns in such a time.  ‘Praise my soul, the King of Heaven, to His feet thy tribute bring … praise Him, praise Him.’  My early morning croaky voice soared to the heavens (well, I hope it did.  It was certainly pretty loud).  I have a feeling that whether in tune or not, God enjoys the warblings of one of His children, just as any of us would enjoy the attempts of a small child to sing a nursery rhyme they have just learned to us.

And do you know what happened?  That little black cloud melted away and disappeared.  I enjoyed my breakfast, my drive to church, and meeting a few friends as we went into the church to worship together.

But even more, as I walked into the sanctuary, I was delighted to hear the organ playing.  Usually, we have a song group, but on this Sunday there were a few key people who were unable to attend, and so the organ was in use.  I enjoy the modern style of worship.  I have no problem with drums or other contemporary instruments in church.  But we have a beautiful organ and it can raise the heavens when it is given free rein.

It was as if, on this morning, it was God’s gift to me.  For the organist was enjoying himself, putting the organ through its paces.

And the hymn he had chosen was ‘Praise my soul, the King of heaven.’  It was as if God was echoing back my feeble offerings of praise from earlier.  A thousand thousand times more glorious, I could now join His people and sing again, to my heart’s content, worshipping my God as He united me with earthly and heavenly choirs to praise Him.

It was evidence of the way God can take the smallest offering, even when given in the shadow of a cloud and colour and multiply it beyond our imaginings.

Are you familiar with little black clouds?  What do you do to encourage them to melt away?

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About Mandy Hackland

My love in life is to encourage others to deepen their relationship with God. I write devotional material, stories and small group studies with that in mind. I live in South Africa and also love spending time in the bush, bird watching and walking. I do live in the city but make the most of the green spaces that surround me.
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