“Whether it was two days, or a month, or a longer time that the cloud continued over the tabernacle, abiding there, the people of Israel remained in the camp and did not set out, but when it lifted they set out. At the command of the Lord they camped, and at the command of the Lord they set out. They kept charge of the Lord, at the command of the Lord by Moses.” Numbers 9:22-23
I’ve always wondered what it was like for the Israelites to be led by God through a cloud. I can’t help but feel like Covid-19 has helped me see a little more clearly what each day may have felt like for them as they waited to “get on with life”, as they waited for the cloud to lift. They did not know from one moment to the next when it would be time to move on. They had to live every day with the Cloud in view, with a readiness to go, and yet at the same time, a willing heart to stay and wait. They could not make any long term plans for themselves outside of fixing their eyes on the cloud…on the Lord.
Doesn’t that feel a bit like what we are living in right now? Long term plans seem uncertain at best. There is a monotony to each day, and yet we know each day is unfolding God’s perfect purposes, even if we can’t fully understand His plans and just feel like we are waiting to “get on with life”. Not unlike the Israelites, we can’t simply exist one day to the next as though our lives are on hold, even though there may be aspects to our normal routines that are in a holding pattern. Right now, this very day, IS the life He is calling us to live. This is the day He has made for us before the foundation of the world. He calls us to faithfully live for His glory, moment by moment, though we may not know what the day, the week, the month or even the remainder of 2020 holds.
Many times in the last few weeks I have had to remind myself of this reality, because in all transparency, I love to be in the “know”. I like control. I like to schedule and plan. If I were an Israelite, I would have been begging God for a schedule of when the cloud would rise and settle. I often want to walk by sight instead of faith. Yet He calls us to walk by faith, because without it we can not please Him. He calls us to trust Him with our whole hearts and lean not on our own understanding. He promises to direct our paths in HIS timing, as we fix our eyes on Him.
“…remember the former things of old, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, “My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose…” Isaiah 46:9-10
The end from the beginning… all that was and is and is to come has passed through His sovereign hands. Not one moment of our lives has caught Him by surprise or will accomplish a different purpose than the one He intended. COVID-19 is not Plan B for the Lord, it has always been Plan A, and we can trust His plan and His heart. Our Redeemer is faithful, true, merciful, kind, and good. May we fix our eyes on Him with a readiness to go, and a willing heart to stay and wait.