What to Do When Covered Up by the Unfamiliar and Mind-Boggling

Someone asked our new manager how he summed up his first days on the job. Tongue-in-cheek, he replied, “I’m on sensory overload. I’m covered up, but I don’t know even know what I’m covered up with.”

I’ve been there. In the middle of the exciting or scary, the mind-boggling yet unfamiliar. Circumstances pummeled me from every direction. My brain spun in circles so fast that the world tilted and I staggered. A cloud of confusion enveloped me, and I didn’t know what I was dealing with. Fear set in.

A cloud overshadowed Jesus, too, during His Transfiguration. Peter, John, and James, who accompanied him to the mountain, were already overwhelmed with what they saw. Then, the cloud enveloped them. The God-cloud, who said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!” (Matthew 17:5, NIV)

The apostles went into sensory overload. They fell facedown to the ground, terrified. Jesus reached out and touched them, saying “Get up. Don’t be afraid.” When the disciples looked up, they saw no one but their Master and Teacher. The cloud disappeared. The threesome stood, dusted themselves off, and followed Jesus back down the mountain, listening to his teaching.

When new or frightening experiences assault and disorient me, I may drop to the ground, terrified.  But the cloud that covers me is not one to fear. It is the cloud of God’s presence proclaiming the glory of His Son and urging me, “Listen to him!” Because I’m covered up with an experience to move me one step closer to the likeness of His Son.

So, as I consider the manager’s response, I square my shoulders against a new challenge. Jesus touches me and I hear him say, “Get up. Don’t be afraid.”  I look up and see no one except Jesus. Then, like the apostles, I return to the task at hand. I walk down the mountain, following His lead.

“He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection. Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor the arrow that flies in the day. Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday. (Psalm 91:4-6, NLT)

How has God helped you move through overwhelming or unfamiliar situations?

©2012 Gloria Ashby. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail.


About Gloria Ashby

I'm a writer, speaker and teacher. I live with my husband in the DFW area, and close to our daughter and her family.
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