25 Then the LORD came down in the cloud and spoke to him, and took some of the spirit that was upon him and put it upon the seventy elders; and when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied. But they did so no more. 26 Now two men remained in the camp, one named Eldad, and the other named Medad, and the spirit rested upon them; they were among those registered, but they had not gone out to the tent, and so they prophesied in the camp. 27 And a young man ran and told Moses, "Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp." 28 And Joshua the son of Nun, the minister of Moses, one of his chosen men, said, "My lord Moses, forbid them." 29 But Moses said to him, "Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the LORD's people were prophets, that the LORD would put his spirit upon them!"
If you have ever watched Care Bears, you will have a vivid picture of how I envision myself "resting in a cloud". On my first flight in an airplane, my sister and I—conspicuous to the pilot that we were first-timers—were called up to the cockpit as the plane was flying over the Rocky Mountain range. It is an image—though I first saw it many years ago—that will remain with me. The mountaintops were caked with brilliantly white snow, and ponds of striking blue-green water nestled in their peaks. Encircling the mountaintops were the most amazing 'Care Bear clouds'. I had arrived in Care-a-lot! I can remember imagining myself leaping from the aircraft and gently sinking into the fluffy beds of white. This, for me, is truly an image of rest, rejuvenation, joy and peace, all wrapped up in a warm, fuzzy, Care Bear hug.
This same comforting image came to mind as I read this bit of scripture today. I experience a comfort beyond measure when I allow myself to rest in the Spirit of God. But more than that—my life; this life I wish to surrender to God—depends on it.
This past weekend, I went to a women’s spiritual retreat. The speaker leading the retreat was teaching us how to grow in our ability to listen to God; to rest in Him and hear His voice. This is something, I’m ashamed to admit, that I struggle to do consistently. This brilliant pastoral teacher helped me through the struggle, and gave us all some practical tips on how to get more in tune to the rhythm of the Spirit. She instructed we must:
Quiet ourselves. Be still. Give up the right to rationally understand everything.
Fix our eyes on Jesus (through scripture, worship music, picturing His face).
Tune to the Holy Spirit (remain open to God’s message for you).
Write it down.(via Hannah Montgomery, Central Church, Edinburgh)
What many of the women in that room learned as we practiced this process—is that God has something to say to all of us—in a colourful variety of ways. And the extent to which I can consistently rest in the cloud of His kindness, is the extent to which I will know His will for my life. I can be assured that His will for my life is good. His voice is as soft as a cloud, and we must quiet the winds of this life in order to sit with it long enough to receive His direction.
Let us pray: Jesus, my Lord, help me to pray. As I sift through the noisiness of this life, help me to take the time to be quiet, so that I may know the voice of my Shepherd who leads me to peace.