“At the command of the Lord the Israelites would set out, and at the command of the Lord they would camp. As long as the cloud rested over the tabernacle, they would remain in camp” (Numbers 9:18).
I don’t know about you, but for me some days just begin in a blur!
A sleepless night, sheer exhaustion, the brain fog so deep nothing is registering, illnesses playing havoc with the body, pain and nausea. And that’s before the situations of daily life strike! A new family crisis hit before I was anywhere near functioning.
It’s times like this that I simply have to retreat, to stillness and seeking God as soon as possible.
Today I was led to read Exodus 14. Moses told the Israelites not to be afraid and to be still. Understandably they were terrified, but followed Moses’ instructions for calmness and stillness. Later God gave Moses instructions to move. This led to the miraculous parting of the Red Sea and safe passage for the Israelites. It also led to deeper trust in God and in their leader Moses.
It reminded me of the dear pastor who married my husband and I. A wise old man, who is now with the Lord. He prayed for us every other day, for nearly 30 years, until he died.
One time we had a difficult decision with no clarity so my husband went to see this pastor for advice. His words have remained with us for other difficult situations. This story relates to Numbers 9:18 with the “cloud resting over the tabernacle.”
When rock climbers are climbing a mountain and encounter fog they use a bivouac, that looks like a hammock with a warm sleeping bag. It’s secured into the mountain rock and they hang safely in it until the fog clears. If they continue to climb up or decide to descend, during a fog, it can be extremely dangerous. So safety instructions for them are to rest, or sleep, in the bivouac, until the fog clears and it’s safe to move again.
Seeing the precariousness of rock climbers at El Capitan, in Yosemite in 2003, highlighted my understanding of this illustration.
We continue to rely on this simple visual illustration in times of confusion or uncertainty for decision making.
Not every situation has that luxury.
However, when it’s so foggy that it seems dangerous to move through the fog, I roll out my imaginary bivouac and rest with the Lord. I also thank God that I’m not really scaling El Capitan at Yosemite in fog!
Prayer: Lord, thank You for Your Word that speaks into our daily situations. Thank You too for Your Shepherds who consistently pray and counsel from Your wisdom. Help us to be still and rest in You when all seems foggy and a blur. Then show us how, and when, to proceed wisely. Amen.
About the Author:
Kerryn Wright lives with her family amongst the gum trees in South Australia. She was a special education teacher prior to chronic illnesses. Her husband is carer for three of their family, who have chronic illnesses and disabilities. God has always guided them through life’s challenges, often in surprising ways.
How has God helped you through “foggy times”? What illustrations guide you during those decision making times? What pastors or mentors words come to you when you most need them?
This is one of my favorite new sings from Sidewalk Prophets called, “Help Me Find It.” When you are trying to figure out what direction God wants you to do, what path to take, we cry out, “God, help me find it!”
If you are curious about the story behind the song the band members share here