We are living in the middle of a huge population shift. People are moving on a large scale, which is caused by need and facility. When people need better jobs and a better life, they will move. Facility because now we have good roads, good cars, affordable transportation, and that makes it easier for people to move around. From 1991 to 2001, more than 151 million Americans moved from one county to another (36% of movers).
But there is another cause. It is when God says: Move! In the Bible we find the people of Israel journeying to the promise land, and God, using a cloud, would tell them when to move and when to stop. Here is the text:
On the day the tabernacle, the Tent of the Testimony, was set up, the cloud covered it. From evening till morning the cloud above the tabernacle looked like fire. That is how it continued to be; the cloud covered it, and at night it looked like fire. Whenever the cloud lifted from above the Tent, the Israelites set out; wherever the cloud settled, the Israelites encamped. At the LORD’s command the Israelites set out, and at his command they encamped. As long as the cloud stayed over the tabernacle, they remained in camp. Numbers 9:15-18
God was the one dictating when to stop and when to move. The Israelites had to deal with many challenges in that process. Like the Israelites we also have to deal with many challenges in our lives when God says: Move!
1. Dealing with the waiting – The first one is the waiting time. We want to go as soon as possible. We are the “right now” generation, and waiting is a big challenge for us. Trusting in God and depending on his sustenance is essential during this time.
2. Dealing with the temporary settings – The second challenge that we have to deal is the uncertainty of temporary settings. The Israelites had to pitch their tents and live place, some times for a few days, a month or a year. They could not make any permanent plans, because at any moment God could say: Move!
3. Dealing with fears – The third challenge that they had to deal was their fears. They were wandering in the wilderness, so it was understandable that they were afraid. That would include uncertainties, enemies, wild animals, etc. Every time that God tells us to move, fear will sneak in to our hearts. We do not know the place, the people, and we do not know how people will react to us. Knowing God and His care will give us peace in those situations.
4. Dealing with separation – The fourth challenge that they had to deal was the separation from family and friends. The Israelites left behind friends, but the Egyptians who came with them left friends and families behind too. We all know how hard it is to leave a place where we have many friends. God will help us to make new friends and also to keep in touch with the ones that we left behind. Thank God, we have the internet today so we can keep in touch with them.
5. Dealing with settling down in a new place – Finally, they had to deal with settling down in the new place until the next time God would say: Move! They had to find a place for their tent, learn where to get water, how the weather was, etc. It was an adjustment process that they had to go through over, again and again. We too, when God tells us to move, we will need to learn street names, where the grocery stores are, etc. We can trust that God will give us new friends who will help us to feel at home.
Have a blessed week,