Meteorologists will tell you there are four main types of clouds: cirrus, nimbus, stratus, and cumulus. If you've read Hebrews 12:1, you'll agree that a cloud type could be added i.e. "the witnus cloud".
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us." Hebrews 12:1This is one of those verses in the Bible that makes my mind swirl with imagination as I picture loved ones cheering me on. I haven't run a race in many years, (I used to run x-country in high school believe or not), but one of the memories I do have was the line of people cheering me from the sidelines. It almost gave me an extra boost of energy to hear the cheering and the encouragement. "Keep going." "You're almost finished." "Don't slow down." Sometimes, in the quiet of the day, I'll imagine a cloud of witnesses encouraging me in my run of life.
This verse often comes to mind when I'm struggling with life's demands and questions of uncertainty fill my thoughts. And then I'll recall what the author states as fact: we're surrounded by a cloud of witnesses. Grandparents and parents, uncles and aunts, brothers and sisters - all who have run before us and who crossed the finish line. They didn't just get a participatory ribbon - 'a thanks for coming out' ribbon. No, they got first prize: a crown of salvation. And, as I imagine that as Jesus handed out the awards an anthem is played - Heaven's anthem, Glory to God in the Highest. And if you listen real close, you can hear "Ere zij God"! I can picture my Dad singing like it's Christmas Day.
At home, we have a table in the living room that's filled with pictures of family. Some are still with us, and others are "in the cloud". When I look at my grandparents, my Dad, and Wendi's Mom I'm not naïve to think that it was easy for them. Their struggles were as real and probably a lot harder than what I deal with. But I'm thankful for every person in those pictures and when I stop to look at them I can faintly hear "Keep going, Henry." "You're doing well." "Your crown awaits."