The other day as I was doing my Bible in One Year devotion, the Old Testament reading was in Numbers chapter 9. As I was reading through and got to vs 15, it was talking about the cloud over the tabernacle.
“15On the day the tabernacle, the tent of the covenant law, was set up,the cloud covered it. From evening till morning the cloud above the tabernacle looked like fire. 16 That is how it continued to be; the cloud covered it, and at night it looked like fire. 17 Whenever the cloud lifted from above the tent, the Israelites set out; wherever the cloud settled, the Israelites encamped. 18 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. 19 When the cloud remained over the tabernacle a long time, the Israelites obeyed the Lord’s order and did not set out. 20 Sometimes the cloud was over the tabernacle only a few days; at the Lord’s command they would encamp, and then at his command they would set out. 21 Sometimes the cloud stayed only from evening till morning, and when it lifted in the morning, they set out. Whether by day or by night, whenever the cloud lifted, they set out.22 Whether the cloud stayed over the tabernacle for two days or a month or a year, the Israelites would remain in camp and not set out; but when it lifted, they would set out. 23 At the Lord’s command they encamped, and at the Lord’s command they set out. They obeyed the Lord’s order, in accordance with his command through Moses.” Numbers 9:15-23 via biblegateway.com
The Israelites waited on God…when he moved, they moved, when he stayed, they stayed. They didn’t know when they set up camp if they were going to be there for a day or a year, but when the cloud stopped and covered the tabernacle, they set up camp and when the cloud lifted, they set out. As we see in vs 23, “..at the Lord’s command they encamped and at the Lord’s command, they set out. They obeyed the Lord’s order… ”
Reading this really hit home for me. It is hard to put into words what I felt. Sometimes, God speaks to us and it is so clear what he is telling us, but it speaks directly to the core of our being and trying to express that in words is hard. However, I also thought is was important to try to explain.
When my husband left 3 1/2 years ago, I felt God tell me that as far as that part of my life was concerned, I was to “stay”, just like when the cloud was covering the tabernacle, that was how I felt, like God came down and wrapped his arms around me. He told me that for a season, He would be my husband. I know that sounds weird, we already know that we are the bride of Christ, but this was a bit different. It meant that the hole that was left from my husband leaving and trying to tear apart what was never meant to be torn, needed to be filled with God. When our divorce was finalized two years ago, I prayed and asked God for direction, still he said “stay”.
You may at this point be asking yourself, what does “stay” mean or look like. Well to me it means that while the laws of this world may say that I am released from my marriage, that doesn’t mean that God says that. To me it looks like still wearing my wedding rings because God has not released me to remove them. Well, that isn’t fair you might say. Or maybe you think I am crazy and wasting my life. I didn’t say that I was just sitting still in a corner waiting for God to bring my husband back through the door. Nothing could be further from the truth. I try to live every day of my life to the fullest. I enjoy all the, too many to count, blessings God has showered so generously upon me.
What I don’t do is look for some other man to fill the void in my life that can only be filled by God. There is only one thing in this life that we truly can not live without and that is God. It isn’t my job to question God’s command, is it my job to trust him. When God told me to stay, I said ok Lord, I will follow you on this path, I don’t worry about how long it has been or what the future holds for my life in that area. I trust that whatever it is, it will be the best for me because God knows me better than I know myself. Tim Keller says it best when he said
“If we knew what God knows, we would ask exactly for what he gives.”
The Israelites didn’t know when they stopped how long they would be in one place and I may not know how long either. But I know this…the Bible clearly shows how things went for the Israelites when they followed God’s command and how they went when they “..did what was right in their own eyes.” (Judges 21:25)
I don’t know about you but I don’t want to do what is right in my eyes or what is right in the eyes of the world or those around me who tell me it is time to “get over” my divorce and move on by finding someone new. Why is that people seem to think that having someone new is the only way to show that you are moving forward?? As if I am stuck in one place because I don’t have a man in my life. I want to do what God calls me to do. I want to follow His commands. I want him to be the love of my life. Is this easy? NO not at all! Can I do this on my own? No way! I need the power of the Holy Spirit to be with me and the strength of Christ to get me through each and every moment of each and every day. But is it worth it? Absolutely!!!