CLOUDS OF WITNESSES

By Lisa Huddleston

Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us.”  Hebrews 12:1

I know this comes as a shock to no one but me, but I am not Superwoman.  What was I thinking when I planned to marry two of my children, to celebrate four graduations, to start a part-time job, and to schedule my mother’s back surgery all within three months?  Me—who struggles with depression and anxiety even without all this activity? Me—who needs at least eight hours of sleep even on a great day?  Who knows, but I don’t think there was much wisdom involved in my confident assertions that I could handle it.

Truthfully, some things were beyond my control.  Others were due to my wanting to be in control.  But all the while I’ve insisted I could handle it.   And I am handling it.

It really is okay.  Really.  Sarah and John were married last week in a wonderfully beautiful ceremony.  I managed to work two days.  And Mom had her much-needed back surgery this Tuesday.  My sister stayed with her last night, and my other sister is there right now.  But I am not Superwoman.  No I am not.

Sunday afternoon I needed to get out and burn some stress so Chuck and I took a ten-mile bike ride along some country roads.  On a particularly beautiful stretch, we both looked up and saw the beauty of the blue and white sky stretched across the Irish green valley and I instantly cried out, “It’s the large cloud of witnesses surrounding us!”  We both smiled, and I pondered as I pedaled.

That phrase has always intrigued me.  Why not a crowd of witnesses?  Whoever heard of a cloud of witnesses?  Well in that particular moment on that particular stretch of road in the midst of my particular stress, I saw the clouds.  And they witnessed to me of God’s love and control.  For a split second I saw the truth.  It really was a “cloud of witnesses!”

Hallelujah!  I am not Superwoman.  I am not in control.  And I don’t have to be.  There are times when all I need do is look to the clouds and let them testify as true witnesses to the One who knows all things.  And that is really, really okay.

My mind is flooded with similar phrases from the Testaments.  Let the scales fall from my eyes.  Give me eyes to see and ears to hear.  Fix my eyes upon Jesus.  Make the blind to see.  Show me your Glory.  And always let me see the beautiful clouds of witness in the blinding blue expanse of your love.

My calendar still shows the impending parties and activities to which I have committed myself.  And I look forward to each event—even while I stress over ALL the events.  Thank you, Lord, for your strategic placement of your witnesses.  I need to be reminded that I can always rest in you even when I have no time to rest.

 

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