By Heather Allen –
It is cold tonight. I am curled up under a blanket with a book and cup of coffee in hand. I wanted to read about Moses and Israel and have it stay on the page. I wanted to forget my cares, but that is not to be. Instead, I am entrenched in the desert with the Israelites. As their story weaves through mine, I cannot help wonder if staying in the desert longer than necessary is just something humans do? Wasn’t it just this afternoon I was concocting a scheme that might help me feel more in control? I would have been tempted to gather extra Manna with the Israelites. I might have even drawn up maps and offered help planning the route. Whenever I am afraid, my natural response is to come up with a plan. Moses’ response was to fall before God. I think I need a new response.
It seems there are new beliefs built on the journey to the promised land. God uses my situations to press me towards a decision. Do I count on Him or do I build my own safety net? I cannot do both. I either set my own course or I believe God.
Not so many years ago I encountered a situation that snuck up on me, sabotaging me. I felt like someone had tossed me into a sea of garbage and left me there to try to swim alone if I had the will or strength. I did not see it coming and as wave after wave crashed on my head I just stood watching, bewildered, mouth gaping. God – are you seeing this? I am drowning in accusations. I do not have the reserves to handle this. After the torrent I only heard one thing. So I obeyed. Somehow I did not throw-up as I quietly said, “I love you” in response. I was met with a glare that shriveled my socks. But I kept myself still, like a child determined to win a staring contest. I came away with something that I could not forget, that was not washed away as I cried myself to sleep. Protection does not always look like I think it should, but the wounds were not left gaping. I was tended through the night.
I love the idea of being hidden in Christ. Of drawing near, and finding a place in His shelter. I think about Him welcoming me into an inner sanctuary, a private dwelling where I am safe. The thought of Him wanting me to be there is what brings tears to my eyes. The Israelite’s day camp was overshadowed by a cloud, which provided shade from the blazing sun. At night a pillar of fire burned with heat and light. At any point the people could find physical proof that God was with them. He was covering them. There may not be a cloud or pillar of fire noticeably moving as I roam, but the same protection covers anyone who is numbered as His. Light dwells with Him.Yet He still wants me close. Nothing is hidden from Him.Yet He is the only secure place to hide. When all that can be shaken, is shaken, He remains.
“But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear Him, on those whose hope is in His unfailing love, to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine” (Psalm 33:18 NIV).
Heather Allen spends most of her time carrying for her hubby and 3 kids. Check out her blog: http://www.thebloodknot.blogspot.com/