October 22, 2007

Guidance

In August, my husband R. severely injured his ankle while jogging (yet another reason I don't jog...as if I needed a reason!) Nearly three months later, it's still painful and easily aggravated. He starts physical therapy tomorrow.

R. is an exercise kind-of-guy. This injury has thrown him for a loop (literally), and he's a little tired of it. Well, a LOT tired of it. Add to the mix that CJ & I were gone to New York last weekend and I'm leaving Friday for Women of Faith (where I finally get to hear this man speak!). It's easy to see why R.'s a little depressed. Suffering from cabin fever, he says.

I, on the other hand, am ready to just be home. Unlike Bev, I'm longing for a winter solstice and a break from these 80°+ temperatures. I want to just rest.

Sometimes it's hard to sit in one place, particularly when you've been told you can't go anywhere. It's equally difficult to keep moving when all you crave is to be still.

On the day the tabernacle, the Tent of the Testimony, was set up, the cloud covered it. From evening till morning the cloud above the tabernacle looked like fire. That is how it continued to be; the cloud covered it, and at night it looked like fire. Whenever the cloud lifted from above the Tent, the Israelites set out; wherever the cloud settled, the Israelites encamped. At the LORD's command the Israelites set out, and at his command they encamped. As long as the cloud stayed over the tabernacle, they remained in camp. When the cloud remained over the tabernacle a long time, the Israelites obeyed the LORD's order and did not set out. Sometimes the cloud was over the tabernacle only a few days; at the LORD's command they would encamp, and then at his command they would set out. Sometimes the cloud stayed only from evening till morning, and when it lifted in the morning, they set out. Whether by day or by night, whenever the cloud lifted, they set out. Whether the cloud stayed over the tabernacle for two days or a month or a year, the Israelites would remain in camp and not set out; but when it lifted, they would set out. At the LORD's command they encamped, and at the LORD's command they set out. They obeyed the LORD's order, in accordance with his command through Moses.
--Numbers 9:15-23


Can you imagine how the Israelites felt? They went to be each evening with no idea what the next day would hold. If they got up and the cloud was still there, they were able to rest comfortably. If they woke the next week and it was STILL cloudy, they remained in camp, even if they were getting a little restless. If, a YEAR later, it was STILL CLOUDY, they didn't budge...despite almost certain stir-craziness.

On the flip side, there were probably times when they hit the hay late, dog-tired and wanting to sleep in. And, what do you know, they woke with not a hint of cloud in the sky. Time to move! Although they were probably exhausted and frustrated (after a weekend in NYC with two 9-year olds, I can relate), they had to go.

They submitted. They were obedient. Even when they probably didn't feel like it. Even when they had no earthly idea what God was up to. They watched the cloud. He faithfully guided them, and they faithfully followed.

Oh, Lord, I confess that I want to know what you've got planned for me today, tomorrow and next year. I grumble when you keep me in one place, and fail to see that you are preparing me for what lies ahead. When you're leading me on, I complain because I'm too lazy, tired or scared to follow. I want to camp out in my comfort zone and rest. God, make yourself as visible to me as you were in the cloud over the Tabernacle, and give me a clear vision of where you want me to go. Grant me an obedient and willing spirit, so that I may faithfully follow. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

2 comments:

Bev said...

Okay, first I'm consumed with jealousy, or whatever it is that doesn't want to take it away from you, but sure wants to be in the seat right next to you to hear him speak. I absolutely love everything he's written, and I learned just last night he's one of the very few " big preachers" who does not use a ghostwriter - whatever's on the page he wrote. So I'm jealous. But glad for you. And totally relating to where you are - I sometimes so want to know, then at the same moment am scared that it will be too much. That faith and trusting thing, easy to talk about, hard hard to actually pull off! Hugs friend.

The Small Scribbler said...

Melissa,

You are making me want to take another look at Numbers. You just make it seem so relevant and practical. I know it is...but I am amazed at your ability to relate a million people living in tents to the life we live today.

Have an awesome time at the conference. My family is big fans of Max.

Kate