“Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you” Deuteronomy 31:8 (NLT).
I’ve always felt my astrological sign describes me very well. I am a Libra and the symbol for this sign is the scales. This is fitting for me, because I like feeling balanced. A sense of balance in my life gives me a tremendous sense of order and control – two things that all too often I find myself seeking out on a regular basis in order to feel a sense of stability in my life.
There are those days; however, when I’m thrown a curveball and suddenly my agenda gets changed. Life then feels a bit tipsy and unbalanced. My response to it isn’t always positive or something I am proud of.
When my daughter was young and in daycare (the days when I was a struggling single parent) that “tipsy” feeling would creep up when she got sick unexpectedly and I had to hurry and make accommodations for picking her up or had to call on someone to help me out. I hated doing that, because I don’t like asking for help. It made me crabby and resentful that I had to carry the burden on my shoulders all by myself.
Even now, in my forties and married, little things can happen in my day that put a wedge in my plans or come out of nowhere when I don’t expect it. Those are times when I start to feel the anxiety of having to make adjustments and inevitably some kind of task doesn’t get accomplished that I had planned on tackling that day.
My Bible study time during the past two weeks has been on Chapters 1 through 10 in the Book of Numbers. These chapters give us a glimpse into God’s instruction and preparation for His people in preparing them for entering into the Promised Land. It begins at Mt. Sinai where God met Moses and revealed His plans to prepare His people for their journey.
Chapter 1 opens by detailing a military census taken of the men of Israel. Reading on in the first 5 chapters, we see God assigning His people rank, roles and tasks according to their talents and abilities. God makes careful plans on who will serve in which role and in what capacity. There are tribes organized by military leaders and their delegates. Each tribe is divided by camps and God sets apart the Levites to care for His tabernacle, which remains in the center of the camps.
After reading the first 5 chapters, it becomes clear how important it is to God that we keep Him in the center of our lives. God shows His perfect attention to detail and how He pays attention to every part of our lives in order to help us remain close to Him.
Going forward in Chapters 6 through 10, we read about the numerous offerings and blessings God provides for His people, in order to remain in a most holy and sacred relationship with them.
In Chapter 9, God leads His people in the form of a cloud and of fire. “This was the regular pattern-at night the cloud that covered the Tabernacle had the appearance of fire. Whenever the cloud lifted from the sacred tent, the people of Israel would break camp and follow it. And wherever the cloud settled, the people of Israel would set up camp” Numbers 9:16-17 (NLT). This is done, so that the people are protected day and night, as they travel across the wilderness in their journey.
What a reminder to me that God is always present and guiding me in my life. There is no reason for me to be anxious or discontent when I am conscious of that fact. It also is a reminder that I need to be active, like the people of Israel were, in following God’s instruction and lead. If I do not step out of my comfort zone, then I will not be able to experience that full relationship with God who only wants to lead me to a better place, just like He did for the people of Israel.
It becomes a matter of changing my mindset. When things outside of my control happen, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s intended to harm me. In fact, often times, it most likely is intended to teach me something about myself. Maybe there is a part of me that I need to change, in order to better serve the areas in my life that need attention. Maybe I need to look at it as an opportunity to grow, instead of looking at it as a hindrance to my agenda.
Dear Heavenly Father, again I am reminded in Your Word how ever present You are in my life. Thank You for showing me through Your Word how important I am to You. Please help guide me through the conflicts that arise throughout my days and help me to learn from them. For You are always working for the good in my life, not the bad. Help me to always remember that. In Your Most Precious Son, Jesus’ Name. Amen.