It’s been a long, hot summer and I’m starting to look for that nice cloud cover followed by a few cool drops of rain. The other day, after noticing the blanket of white covering the sun, my husband asked if I’d like to go for a run.
Having spent most of the summer on the treadmill, I readily agreed. And initially, our excursion was very pleasant. The clouds protected us from the sun’s intense rays and a gentle breeze circulated the cool air. But about twenty minutes into it, the cloud cover blew away and the sun hit us full force. The temperature instantly climbed ten degrees. The heat drained me and made me want to quit.
As I ran, I thought about the Hebrews when they were making their escape from Egypt. The Bible tells us God guided them with fire by night and a cloud by day. This got me thinking about what it might have been like to travel through the wilderness. Sinai was a very hot and dry area with little if any shade. Dehydration and overheating would have been a real concern.
Luckily, God shielded them from the intense rays of the sun by providing a cloud cover. And if they had tried to forge their own way instead of waiting for God’s leading, they would have stepped away from protective barrier.
This got me thinking about all the times I’ve gotten ahead of God. Often, I’m so convinced I know which direction He wants to take me, and I’m off running without taking the time to pray. The only problem is the cloud hasn’t moved. It’s still back at the starting line, waiting on God’s perfect timing.
Fortunately, God doesn’t allow me to wander aimlessly in the wilderness for long and always guides me lovingly back to His tender, protective care—after I’ve exhausted myself with my own efforts and plans. Hopefully, the next time I’m tempted to run full speed ahead, I’ll remember my hot run and wait on God’s leading instead of trying to forge my own way.
“In spite of all this, you did not trust in the LORD your God, who went ahead of you on your journey, in fire by night and in a cloud by day, to search out places for you to camp and to show you the way you should go.”
– Deuteronomy 1:32-33 (NIV)
“Dear Lord, help me to keep my eyes on You, trusting in Your guidance, waiting on Your leading. Thank You for the faithful way You watch over and protect me….”