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Wednesday Devotional: Above the Clouds

2 Timothy 2:1,3-4

I remember my first flight on a rainy day. The dark clouds sat heavy over the landscape, and the tarmac was soaked from their release.

Inexperienced in air travel, I didn't know how the plane would ascend from a wet runway. I wondered how bumpy or even dangerous it might be to fly through storm clouds.

Indeed, the clouds did jostle the airplane as it journeyed through them. But once the aircraft scaled the low-hanging clouds, the sky was clear and blue, and the sun was brighter than ever in contrast to the gloom below.

I immediately took this experience as a metaphor for our daily lives and for our lives in general. Some days are difficult, but if we can somehow get above the clouds, there is sunshine and hope. Similarly, our earthly life may be full of storm clouds, but our eternal life is abundant with light, life, and love.

How do we rise above these storm clouds of life? It's a good question; even as I write this, the day is dark and dank, and there have been difficult issues confronting me. One by one, I have worked to address them without getting overwhelmed. I tried to adopt the attitude advocated in my first book, "The Next Thing: A Christian Model for Dealing with Crisis in Personal Life," which contained a useful passage from 2 Timothy 2:1,3-4.

You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. . .Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs - he wants to please his commanding officer.

To be clear, Paul, is urging Timothy to ministry. But the principles of endurance through hardship can be applied to climbing above the storm clouds of life.

God offers us strength to endure. In return, we soldier on in service of the Lord, focusing less on the "civilian affairs" that weigh us down and aiming more to please our leader, Christ Jesus. This path allows us to scale the storm clouds and to arrive in the sunshine waiting above them.

Two years after its release, "The Next Thing" continues to impact lives and gain recognition, most recently honored as a finalist in the upcoming Christian Indie Awards. This book will take you through a step by step model on how to face any crisis - and surely, crisis awaits all of us. Be prepared! Check out "The Next Thing" at and through online sellers like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and others.

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