“…Jesus taketh with Him Peter, and James, and John, and leadeth them up into an high mountain apart by themselves: and He was transfigured before them. And His raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller on earth can white them…[and] they were sore afraid. And there was a cloud that overshadowed them: and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, This is My beloved Son: hear Him”Mark 9:2-7
When Jesus was transformed on the Mount of Transfiguration, He glowed both inside and out. His apostles were filled with fear as they tried to figure out what was happening. Suddenly they heard a voice speak to them coming directly from heaven, declaring, ‘This is My beloved Son; hear Him’! But they were still afraid because the cloud hid Jesus from their view. Then He spoke to them, inviting His closest companions to come into the cloud with Him!
Why is it that when we finally get a chance to see a ray of the sun, a cloud quickly comes along and hides it from our sight? And why did that cloud of glory the apostles saw disappear from their view so fast? What is the reason that we sometimes get a peek at joy and then become showered with sorrow? If we allow clouds like those of doubt, worry, troubles, or unbelief to come between us and the One who came to save us—even for just a brief time—we may also be overcome with fear.
Does a cloud overshadow you right now that may be a sign of coming illness or weakening strength? A cloud of illness overshadowing us can make us so afraid that we let our fears runs wild. That’s when we begin thinking that every itch or twitch signifies a terrible disease coming over us. The slightest thing the doctor says or does scares us into thinking that he’s going to give us the worst news. But once we become well, we are able to declare that “It is good for me that I have been afflicted” (Psalm 119:71). It is then that we realize that the Lord was in that cloud, but we never recognized it.
Are you wealthy in this world’s goods? A cloud of anxiety often overshadows those who are well-off in this world. Then one day they realize the fact that “They have heaped up riches, and cannot tell who shall gather them.”’ They become anxious, wondering how their heirs will handle their wealth after they die. This kind of cloud often overshadows their lives with fear.
When you are overshadowed by a cloud of sorrow, does it make you afraid? Does the crying and heartache of losing someone close to us to death ever produce anything beneficial? We often feel like our whole world is caving in. But after we’ve been through a cloud like this, we can learn how to comfort others going through similar sadness, by offering them comfort the way the Lord comforted us. In this way we may possibly begin to understand the tears Jesus shed when He was here on earth. What other way could we ever even begin to understand how He felt?
How often have you had a cloud of anxiety come over you lately? You do not need to be afraid when you enter the various overshadowing clouds of life. They will not last very long and are not intended to cause your downfall. Their purpose is to instruct you. You may not be able to see God’s face hidden from you in a cloud. But don’t think that means that His love and power are no longer here. He continues to care for you, whether you can see His face or not.
When an overshadowing cloud comes and you are afraid to enter it, pray to our Heavenly Father to reach out from heaven to comfort you. You don’t need to fear the cloud when it comes from Heaven. When the Lord speaks to you, listen to the voice coming out of the cloud, reassuring you that: “This is My beloved Son: hear Him!” You know you can trust this voice! Once you have heard Him, obey what He tells you and then watch your overshadowing cloud move on and the sun begin to shine brightly again!