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“On the day the tabernacle, the tent of the covenant law, was set up, the cloud covered it. From evening till morning the cloud above the tabernacle looked like fire … Whenever the cloud lifted from the tent, the Israelites set out; whenever the cloud settled, the Israelites set up camp… At the Lord’s command they set up camp, and at the Lord’s command they set out.” (Numbers 9: 15, 18, 23 NIV)
It struck me the other day that, when Moses was leading the Israelites on their 40 year meanderings around the desert after the Exodus, they had absolutely no idea where they where going, how long they would be travelling, why they stopped where they stopped and where the next stop would be. They may have had some idea of where they wanted to go, but never when they might set off and where they might be taken next. Ever feel like that? That you haven’t a clue where God is taking you, why you are travelling to and stopping in the places you are and why the heck He can’t just get on and get you to where you want to go in a nice, simple straight line? I do.
But as I was having a little moan to God about my circumstances, as I so often seem to do these days, I felt God tell me to stop trying to look beyond the cloud. I don’t need to know where He is taking me. All I need to do is to focus on Him. When the cloud moved, the people moved. When the cloud stopped, so did they. They didn’t need to know the route because God knew it and they trusted in Him. The same is true for us. We may have the wonders of Sat Nav, Google maps, GPS in our cars, on our phones, and goodness knows what else. But the person who knows the route is God, because He’s the one who has planned it all out with such intricacy and attention to detail. So why don’t we stop trying to second guess His planning, relax and just concentrate on following his lead – at staring at the clouds?