The Cloud of Unknowing: When God is Nearer than you Think

dark cloud


“He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him – the dark rain clouds of the sky.” – Psalm 18:11

My son Josh likes to play hide and seek. The other day he pulled the covers up in bed and asked me to hide. But when he looked towards the hole, he said, “dark.”

I responded with “Yes, we hide in the dark.”

The hurting, lonely dark. We sometimes hide in the most unsafe places.

Two days later I was reading to my daughter, Annie, before bed. She pointed to a lantern and said “light.” I said, “yes, we need a light to see in the dark.”

We don’t think of darkness as a place we would find God.

Darkness comes in many forms. TRUE light comes in only ONE.

So many are sitting in the dark today. Unanswered questions and weary, knee sore soles aching with a parched mouth hoping they don’t have to keep praying that same prayer today. The medicine’s not working, the relative is not relenting and the sky seems closed to the cries in the night. They keep hoping, somehow, that the next day will be easier.

And my son, Josh, asked me why the monster in his book is scared of the dark.

Because when you can’t see two feet in front of you and your circumstances start to crowd, strangle the WORD you thought you believed – the darkness is smothering.

We are always most afraid of what we do not understand.

There is much we will not understand.

But there is much we can. When we begin to see in the light of His Spirit that – in fact – His WORD defines our circumstances. Not the other way around. When it doesn’t feel like He is “close to the brokenhearted” – He still is. Does that change things for us?

The Lord is so close. In the clouds handing over our heads.

“He spread out a cloud as a covering and a fire to give light at night.” Psalm 105:39

On your darkest day, He is covering you.

And the friends of Job, the scoffers around us will point to hopeless things.

We are crowded in and pushed back and that was Satan’s goal all along. It’s his MOA.

“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” 2 Cor. 4:8-9

Crushed here? Is Stenochoreo in the Greek…..”to crowd into a narrow space. To be unable to express oneself.”

And God is telling us to praise Him and the words JUST CAN’T COME OUT.

We feel in despair and we feel abandoned and we feel crushed.

Just as Jesus felt spiritually, emotionally on the cross.

What if we are nearer to Him now than ever?

“knowing Him in his death”

What if – now – He is the only one who can truly understand our cry:

“My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?”

What if this –THIS — this trial, this suffering, this unanswered question – is how we will “carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body?”

And though we can’t see it, we can’t feel it – we don’t understand it – there is God.

Riding down to help us.

‘There is NO ONE like the God of Jeshurun, who rides on the heavens to help you and on the clouds in his majesty.” Dt. 33:26

He is riding on those dark clouds – coming after you and your heart.

But there is a work to be done there. In the heart. A gift. Paul called it a treasure.

“For God who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God in the face of Christ.” 2 Cor. 4:5

There is a light of truth we can only find when we have faced the suffering of Christ.

And when you get that light – that true, authentic real-deal light – your bulb won’t run out again. He wants to shine through you. So He is shining His light in your heart, holding you steady as you question Him.

Because those who have walked the rough patch of faith and come out shining will hold out their torch to the world.

It’s a treasure we never ask for. Suffering. Feeling the weight of abandonment. Doubting the faith that we know deep down in our chest.

But it is the treasure we want. To Know Him. To know the break-through praise that shakes the prison walls. To glorify Him when Satan thinks we will surrender.

He calls us to believe, to hope again, in the Light of the World come alive in us.

He “covers us in the shadow of His wings.” Calling us, Rest here.

And underneath…..are the everlasting arms.





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