had been passing through a period of sore conflict. For
several days I had had gloomy and distressing feelings.
I had struggled with all my might against them. I had
tried to draw near the Lord and to get special help from
him. It was hard to pray, and it seemed that when I
prayed no answer came. Discouragement pressed in upon
me. I had no idea of giving up the fight, but I knew not
what to do next. It seemed that my strength was
exhausted by the conflict. As I lay there meditating, it
seemed that all at once a quiet voice said to me: "Do
not try to blow away the clouds with your feeble breath.
If you will be content to wait, the same wind that
brought them will carry them away again."
the voice spoke I seemed to see myself in a little
ravine where I had often been, with a great mass of
thick clouds overhead moving slowly along. The lesson
that God would get to me illuminated my mind. I saw how
foolish it would be to try to blow away those great
clouds. All my blowing could not move them and inch. I
might strain and struggle, and try until my strength was
all gone, but the clouds would not pass away, nor would
the sunshine come a moment sooner for all my efforts.
those spiritual clouds that were hanging so low above me
and wrapping me in their somber shadows could not be
blown away by my feeble breath. I had nearly worn myself
out by my efforts, but had gained nothing at all, I had
worried myself, and it was all to no purpose. As I
looked back at the beginning of that season of heaviness
and darkness, I could not see anything that I had done
to bring it; it had just settled down upon me without
any apparent reason, just as the clouds in the heavens
come over the face of the sky without relation to any
act of yours or mine.
Brother, sister, have you not had such
experiences in your Christian life? Have not darkness
and gloom, heaviness and depression, come over your soul
and you could not tell why? You began to question
yourself, thinking that surely there must be something
wrong. You doubted and wondered; you could not tell why
you felt so. Perhaps for several days these feelings
persisted. You resisted them. You prayed, struggled. You
searched yourself, but to no avail. The darkness still
covered you; the heaviness still pressed you down.
Possibly Satan also came with powers of accusation
against your soul. You blew with all your might at the
clouds, but still they lingered, and your heart was
sorely troubled. By and by the clouds passed away, the
sunshine came, and your heart sang again. You knew not
what carried the clouds away nor what brought the
sunshine; nevertheless there it was illuminating,
warming and refreshing you again.
are many times in our lives when the clouds come through
no fault of ours. Nothing that we can do will keep them
from coming. No matter how close we live to God, they
will sometimes come. We cannot hope that our sky will
always be clear, but I hope you will get the lesson that
God gave me that day, years ago. The same wind that
brought that cloud over you will carry it away again.
not waste your strength struggling against your
feelings; be patient and wait. Do not accuse yourself of
having done wrong or of being wrong. Do not take these
gloomy feelings as evidence against yourself, any more
than you would take the literal shadows of a cloudy day
to prove you were not right.
you have done wrong, God will show you just what the
wrong has been, and he will also show you the way out.
When the clouds come, then is the time to trust. If in
your heart you mean to serve God, you know it, and he
knows it. No matter how dark it may become, look up into
his face and tell him that you mean to serve him no
matter how things look, no matter how you feel. Our
emotions are not governed by our wills--we cannot feel
as we please to feel; but we can be true when we will to
be true, and we can wait and trust. We cannot control
circumstances; we cannot help being affected by
surrounding influences. These in a great measure rule
our feelings. We can keep the citadel of our soul and
not allow sin to enter.
Remember this one thing; that all your
struggling is only blowing at the clouds. It is easier
to struggle than to be quiet and trust, but it profits
nothing. In a few days your gloomy feeling and heaviness
and darkness will pass away without any effort on your
part. It may be longer in passing if you struggle
against it. Just trust and wait; don't try to take the
wind's task; let it do its own work. Then, when the
sunshine comes again, you will not be worn out, but will
be fresh and vigorous for the tasks that lie before