The horizon turns grey, just light enough to make the darkness of the rest of the sky show. A chill wind bends the trees to the south and the birds all huddle out of the icy blasts. It looks like another dreary morning. Then suddenly all that changes. The sun finds a hole in the clouds obscuring the sky, and streams of fire turn the dreary clouds into a whirl of color and beauty. Suddenly the cold doesn’t matter so much.
Have you ever noticed how necessary clouds are to the beauty of the sky? Oh yes, clear cloudless nights are mind-bogglingly beautiful, but what about sunrises? Without clouds a sunrise is mostly just an orange glow (which is still pretty in it’s own way). The most gorgeous sunrises always have clouds. The clouds are what make them so beautiful.
Isn’t it interesting how some of the most beautiful things only happen after some kind of hardship or pain? The life and warmth of Spring only comes after the bitter cold of Winter, and a butterfly only becomes a butterfly after undergoing the struggles of the cocoon. Why are the most beautiful things so closely linked to pain?
I believe it is because God knows how prone we are to take things for granted, and He loves us far too much to let the most beautiful things pass by unappreciated. We can’t appreciate the joy He gives us until we have first become familiar with sorrow. We can’t fully receive the peace that passes understanding until we’ve experienced chaos. The hardships of life make the most beautiful things possible, and they also make it possible for us to really see them.
There will always be clouds in our lives, and sometimes they will be so thick that the sun cannot break through to reveal their beauty. There will always be times when the pain is so terrible we can barely think, and it doesn’t look like it could ever be made into something good. But take heart! When those days come, fasten your gaze on God. Don’t stop to look at the clouds or to feel the pain. Focus on God, because He is the one who can part the clouds to let the sun through, and He is the one who can heal the pain. And He is the one who can turn hardships into beauty.