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Vantage point


Rise above the clouds

They call it the cloud deck, the top of a layer of clouds viewed from above. Going through it in an aircraft is often turbulent. For the infrequent flier it can also be uncertain. It can sometimes be frightening, even for seasoned travelers.

Those who are below it see only what is nearest the ground. The cloud deck shuts out the light beneath it. But above it the sun continues to shine. Last year, on a blustery, cloudy day, we took a family trip to the summit of Mount Diablo in California. We were bundled up and had little hope for much of a view.

But about halfway up the mountain, we emerged into sunlight. It was a gorgeous day with a wonderful view of Diablo’s upper half. From the summit, we looked down on the cloud deck. It dawned on me that thousands down in the valley were spending the day in dreariness, while the few of us who had ascended the mountain were enjoying sunshine.

You don’t have to be in outer space to see the sun on a dark day. You just have to be above the clouds. Going through the clouds can be the most disturbing part of a flight. But, if you’re ascending, you have the expectation of sunshine and peaceful skies.

Life offers its own cloud decks — trials that seem to shut out the sun. You need courage and resolve to break through. In the cloud, to keep you from crashing into the side of a mountain instead of soaring above it, you need guidance (the Holy Spirit), confidence (faith in God), and communication (relationships with other believers).

This issue features people who have gone through severe trials and have climbed above the clouds. Their days are not always sunny, but with God’s help they have found the strength to be on the triumphant side of their troubles. Our hope is that they will inspire you to rise to the same plane.

Ken Horn

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