The Clouds Cried Out
Murad’s teacher was convinced that Jesus was reaching out to the young boy’s heart through the clouds.
To Sabbath School teachers: This story is for Sabbath, Dec. 23. Because of the sensitive nature of the story, no additional photos are being shared this week.
Ten-year-old Murad [pronounced: MYUHR-ad] approached his teacher after class. “I have a secret,” he whispered to her.
The teacher, a Seventh-day Adventist woman who works in a restrictive country, looked at the boy quizzically. Although Murad had been in her class several months, he had never spoken to her like this.
“I have a secret to tell you,” Murad repeated, still whispering.
“What is it?” the teacher asked, whispering back.
Tears formed in Murad’s eyes and ran down his cheeks as he spoke. “One day when I was walking to school, I saw a cloud that looked like a man hanging on a cross,” Murad said. “I didn’t know who it was until I heard you talking about Jesus. When you spoke about Jesus, I remembered the cloud.”
The teacher felt a lump form in her throat and tears form in her own eyes. She wasn’t sure what to say to this boy. Although she shares Bible stories about Jesus as she tells her students the importance of having good values to live by, she cannot say much about God without risking problems with the authorities. She knew that he hadn’t told his parents about his vision, for they refused to allow their son to believe in Jesus.
Murad’s vision reminds us that even when we cannot talk to someone about God’s love, God has ways to show people that He loves them. In Murad’s culture, dreams and visions are important, and people feel strongly that they mean something for them.
Murad’s vision of the cross in the clouds reminds us of Jesus’ words in the Bible. He said, “I tell you that if these [men, His disciples] should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out” (Luke 19:40). The disciples had been declaring that Jesus was the Messiah, but the Pharisees urged Jesus to tell them to be quiet.
And for Murad, God spoke through the clouds in a part of the world where Christians are forbidden to speak openly about Jesus. When Murad saw the clouds above his home, he understood that Jesus is the crucified Savior. And Murad’s teacher was convinced that Jesus was reaching out to the young boy’s heart through the clouds. She knew that if Jesus could make the clouds cry out, she needn’t worry. God would finish the work that humans can’t do on their own.
Ellen White says that children will have a special role in sharing the gospel in the last days. “When heavenly intelligences see that men are no longer permitted to present the truth, the Spirit of God will come upon the children, and they will do a work in the proclamation of the truth which the older workers cannot” (Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 6, p. 202).
Let’s pray that people will be open to hearing and accepting God’s message of love in countries where it’s not easy to share Jesus with others. Your mission offerings help reach people in these difficult-to-reach parts of the world. [Close with prayer.]
Because of the sensitive nature of the story, no additional photos are being shared this week.
For activities to accompany this and other mission stories, download the Children’s Mission quarterly (PDF)