The ancient account of how God led His people through the desert came to life in bright pictures displayed. There to the right was the pillar of cloud by day, and to the left, they slumbered in their tents with a pillar of fire standing guard.
Turning the page, why, there was Moses, arm outstretched over the threatening sea as the cloud hovered before and the enemy pursued, relentless, behind. Then came the wind blowing fierce and – what?! – a path, all dry, appeared beneath their feet. And God’s people marched, triumphant, to the other side.
We talked, then, exclaiming over His power and how He cares for us, how He shows us where to go, and we obey, walking where God points.
Pillar of cloud. Pillar of fire. Divine Providence guiding, leading, lighting, protecting in the desert.
This morning, sitting there at the coffee shop, I saw her come in. It had been a tough year for this friend of mine whose acquaintance I’d made over weeks and months of smiles, waves, and “how are you anyway’s” in that very place. Just last week, her mother had died, ending a very difficult and exhausting chapter in her life.
“How are you?” I said again. She smiled, tired, but there was peace on her face.
We chatted in the line just there before the pastries, and then she told me. She’d been eating breakfast, and she’d flipped on the TV and found an evangelist speaking from Numbers 9. “‘When the cloud doesn’t move (she repeated it) you stay put!’”
Ah-ha! Instant came the knowledge that it was a truth I needed to hear. The cloud in my life hadn’t moved. Hadn’t budged. No amount of pushing, pulling, tugging, or striving had changed a thing. Just as God had led His people into the desert and through the desert, even so, He had led them out of the desert. And He would do it for me.
Peace came then, and I knew once more that I was exactly where He wanted me to be. Knew down deep that the Cloud could be trusted, that the Cloud would move when the time was right, and that I was safe there in its shadow.
How about you, my friend? Are you following the cloud? Or are you, too, striving, fighting, kicking against its leading? There’s peace – security, safety – in the shelter of the cloud. You and I, we can rest, certain that it will move at the right time, certain that all is well and that all shall be well.