We really need rain! Parts of Texas and Oklahoma that are normally all dust this time of year are experiencing record floods. And here we are in Tennessee with temperatures at 100 or more day after day with no rain in the extended forecast.
So Lourene and I were excited Friday night when we saw a cloud, a big cloud come rolling up in the sky. As we looked around we saw more and more clouds. We were excited, thinking that with those clouds would come rain. That’s what clouds are for, right?
We watched the clouds for about an hour. We watched as they disappeared, just drifting off with the wind. How much rain did we get? None. Not a drop.
As we drove home that night we had a discussion of Jude’s letter in the New Testament, specifically his reference to clouds.
“These men are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm–shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted–twice dead. They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shame; wandering stars, for whom blackest darkness has been reserved forever.”
Jude uses several vivd word pictures to try to explain the danger of godless leaders in church, but the one that really gets our attention right now is “clouds without rain.” Clouds are supposed to bring rain. Shepherds are supposed to care for the flock. And when shepherds only look out for themselves, they are clouds without rain. They make promises that they do not keep.
Right now I am very aware of the frustration brought by clouds without rain. As a result, I am very aware that I need to be concerned about feeding more than myself. I do not want to be a cloud without rain.