Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Cloud Gazing, a Solioquy by Ray Hawkins

Cloud Gazing, by Ray Hawkins

We saw dinosaurs, mountains, faces and many fanciful designs, my grandchildren and I. Where were they? In the fleeting clouds. What a wonderful time we had as we played together. After they went home Lord, I had time to recall your association with clouds. Really, it’s an impressive list.

If my memory serves me right, the first mention of clouds in the Gospels is on a mountain, according to Matthew 17:1-5. This followed your words about the cross in the region of Caesarea Philippi. Rather appropriate as I think about it; first the cross, then the glory. Was the mountain in the same area? Anyway, the gospel says, ‘…a voice from the cloud said, “this is my beloved Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased. Listen to Him.”’

Did Peter, James and John’s minds recall their nation’s history when you spoke to Israel out of the cloud on their journey at Mount Sinai? Now, on this mount, the Father stresses an important fact. After all which is recorded in the Old Testament for our blessing and protection God has one final word. Hebrews 1:1, 3. Tells us that Jesus Christ is God’s last Word to a lost and wayward Humanity.

Later the disciples were in for a shock as you outlined future events affecting Israel and the Gentile nations. (Matthew 24). By the time you got to mention clouds I reckon their minds were reeling from your words. Then you say “Immediately after the distress of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken” At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory.”’ (Matthew 24:29, 30) What a great incentive to be a cloud watcher!

You were accused of blasphemy because you linked yourself to the quote of Daniel 7:13 As Daniel saw it, he wrote ‘In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into His presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshipped him. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom that will not pass away, and His kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.’

If you hadn’t risen from the dead but your body had remained in the tomb, the judgement of the High Priest and Sanhedrin would have been correct. The message of the angels is our victory chant, “He is not here; He has risen!” You are the conquering Lord over sin, death and Satan’s kingdom.

What an emotional moment it must have been for those with you on the Mount of Olives. As they were enjoying your company you ascended into your Father’s presence embraced in a cloud. (Acts 1:9) Awe struck seems apparent as they stand there gazing at the cloud. I’m sure they never lost the significance of the angel’s words when he said “This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen Him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:11 and Zechariah 14:1-4) That is so plain. Why do some try and tell us you have already come, invisibly beats me! They have eyes but do not see what is written. They have hearts which choose not to believe your word. They will be amongst the mourners when you return.

I look forward to my grandchildren maturing so as to talk to them about the spiritual significance of the clouds. Until then I will enjoy both the fun of seeing ‘things’ in the clouds with them and anticipating the spiritual reality of the clouds.

Thanks Lord!

Personal soliloquy. There’s a cloud experience waiting for you. Read 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.

Post card from God. ‘Look, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of Him. So shall it be! Amen.’ Revelation 1:7.

Ray Hawkins is a “retired” church minister who had material published numerous times over his many years in ministry. This included articles in religious national and state journals, Decision Magazine and regular feature writer for David House Fellowship’s Vineyard ’magazine, which was distributed around the world and translated into at least five languages. Bible studies were published by Vital Publications in a well-received booklet called Rekindled. Multi-published Debra White Smith in USA included several of his poems, devotional thoughts and prayers in two of her books released by Harvest House: 101 Ways to Romance Your Marriage (2003) and Romancing Your Wife (2005). In more recent years, he became a regular contributor to Upper Room daily devotional magazine. Now he continues to write books for his 31 Day Themed Devotional series and with his wife, multi-published author Mary Hawkins, presenting workshops to writers.

More info at http://rayhawkinsauthor.blogspot.com.au


  1. Thanks Peg. The photo you put in gave it some substance too. Here in Tasmania we have had some interesting clouds of late. God bless.

  2. It was my pleasure to share your article here, Ray. And thanks for leaving a comment. I'm looking forward to post more of these from you over the coming months. Blessings . . .

  3. Ray, on the very cloudless Iowa day, after weeks of cloudiness, I so appreciated reading your thoughts this morning.

  4. Thank you, Gail, for stopping by. Today, here in NW Wisconsin, the clouds are playing peek-a-boo with the sun. It's rather pleasant, after a wicked downpour here yesterday, with over two inches and some flooding. I used to ply cloud games when I was a kid with my sister and brother. Imagination is a wonderful thing.

  5. Hi Ray, I feel like I know you. I am also in the 101 Ways to Romance your Marriage book compiled by Debra White Smith, and I used to chat with your lovely wife Mary on the ACFW loop back in the early years of ACFW. Hope to meet both of you face to face someday--here or in heaven! Enjoyed your devotion. God has been impressing on my heart to rest more in Him, and looking at His clouds sounds like a fun way to do that!