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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Rejoicing (11/22/04)

TITLE: The Great Cloud
By Geri Rosser


I was working on a song I’d started the day before. The words were finally coming together, based on the Hebrews 12 passage about the cloud of witnesses that are cheering us on to the finish line.

Lord, let me minister healing
To the hurting and oppressed,
Praying down heaven upon them;
Taking time to invest . . .

In Your Kingdom
There are thousands
Who have suffered and been healed.
In Your Kingdom
There are thousands
Who have fought while they have kneeled.
And in Your Kingdom
There are thousands
Who are calling us to come.
They are cheering
At the finish,
For they know our battle’s won.

Lord, let me foster the fledglings
Who are floundering in their faith.
Pointing to each one of us
Who has fallen, then been raised.

For in Your Kingdom
There are thousands
Who have doubted, yet obeyed.
In Your Kingdom
There are wand’rers
Who have found the way and stayed.
And in Your Kingdom
There are thousands
Who are calling us to come.
They are cheering
At the finish,
For they know our battle’s won.

So, press on to the finish
To garner the prize
Of perfection in Jesus Christ!
And soon, up in heaven
We’ll join with the thousands
Who, in garments of praise, rise up and sing:

In Your Kingdom
There is only One
Who is worthy of the praise,
For You bought us
At the highest price,
So our voices we will raise.

To the King of Kings;
To the Lamb!
You have saved us!
You have raised us!
We will sing eternal praise! (In Your Kingdom, ©2001, Geri Rosser)

In spite of the song’s very real message about the cloud of witnesses, for some reason I had not connected to it personally. I was singing it, analyzing the poetry, working hard for rhythm, rhyme, melody, meaning—and yet, it hung empty in my mind.

Suddenly the image of my recently deceased father-in-law flashed across my mind. I loved Glen like my own father, and was always so impressed with his kind and generous spirit, with the way that he lived his faith out through ministries of giving, helping and encouragement. He had died from a debilitating and unnamed degenerative blood disease, a slow, painful, mind- and heart-wrenching death.

God brought Glen to my mind in his newly glorified state, running and jumping, cheering for me to run the good race! It brought tears to my eyes to realize that Glen was now encouraging me from heaven, shouting for me to have faith, to live in quiet trust of my Heavenly Father, and to finish the course set before me.

New images of loved ones lost sprang to my consciousness in the next few moments: a former professor who had been wheelchair bound from Multiple Sclerosis for the last seven years of his life; his first wife, who had tragically died of cancer long before he passed; my grandfather who lost his mind to Alzheimer’s shortly before his death; my aunt who had called all of her loved ones the week before her unforeseen death. All of these people whose lives had impacted mine were in perfect health and shouting to me from the “bandbox”: “Geri, keep the faith! Geri, stand firm in Christ! Geri, God is with you! Trust Him implicitly! Run the race, Geri, all the way to the finish line!”

My rejoicing was great, for the grand cloud of witnesses, that immense source of encouragement and strength to each of us in the faith, continues to grow with the ranks of the Redeemed departed, continues to foster my resolve to run and win the race! God be praised!

The Great Cloud
©2004, Geri Rosser

Member Comments
Member Date
Kathy Cartee11/30/04
Geri you have some wonderful thoughts here which encourage us to run the race to the finish, Great article and well written.
Debbie OConnor11/30/04
Very nice entry. I'd love to hear the song with music. I particularly like the part in the song where you mention the many (all) who have fallen, then been raised. I love the very personal ending. It's great how God teaches us through our own work.
Lois Jennison Tribble12/01/04
Well-done, Geri. I'd also love to hear it with music. I applaud your gifts and pray that God will keep opening doors for you to use them!
Sandra Clayton12/02/04
I love this. I love the song, too - is it available with guitar chords, by any chance???? I love the message of your song - and the message of the whole article. Thanks.
Marcell Billinghurst12/04/04
A very beautiful song and great reflections you have shared with us. God bless you in your writing and all who sing and hear your song.