Ever feel like you are wandering through a desert in life? Maybe you are waiting for orders to go to the next duty station. Maybe you are in between jobs and wondering what is coming next. Where will you go? When will you go?
Let me encourage you this morning. God knows. He has a plan for you and if you trust him, he will reveal that plan to you in his perfect timing. Just trust him and obey him a step at a time as he reveals it to you. You likely won’t see the whole plan at once. You probably won’t even see the full “5 year plan”, but he’ll give you just enough light for the step you are on if you are willing to take it a step at a time and trust him. By the way, Stormie OMartian wrote a book called “Just Enough Light for the Step I’m On”, and I highly recommend it!
I’m a planner myself and I do like to know what the schedule is. Each week, I look at the week ahead and make plans. I plan meals, school, field trips, laundry days, family time – trying to balance it all. I often write things on my calendar a month or even months in advance but honestly, a week at a time is about all I can really schedule. More like a day at a time. Life happens. Things come up. Someone gets sick. People need help. So we have to be flexible.
Jesus wants me to be flexible in my schedule so that I can do things for him. If I’m so tied to my schedule that I don’t have time to help a neighbor then I’m too busy. If I’m rushing so much that I don’t have my quiet time with the Lord each morning reading his word, praying to him, and listening to him – then I’m too busy.
There is a comfort in knowing that God is really in control of my schedule, and if I will allow him to lead then I know I will get where I need to be, when I need to be there.
This morning I was reading my Bible in the book of Numbers, chapter 9, – during the time that the Israelites were wandering in the desert. As they were traveling along, they didn’t stay at hotels, or pop in to a friend’s house to sleep on the sofa. Instead, they had to pack up their entire camp and take it with them to the next location. Their “camp” would have been approximately 12 acres in size with all the people & animals that were with them. That’s a lot of tents to take down and set up! Not to mention the entire tabernacle that had to be taken apart and carried to the new location and then set up again. It wasn’t a small pop up tent either. The tabernacle itself was about 45 feet x 15 feet, with the outer court area measuring about 150 feet by 75 feet. It required 3 different tribes of people to carry all the parts of the tabernacle to its new location.
How did they know where to go, and when to travel? God showed them! He revealed himself as a pillar of fire over the tabernacle during the night, and a cloud over the tabernacle during the day. When the cloud moved on, the Israelites knew it was time to move too. Sometimes, at his command, they would stay somewhere for only a few days. Other times, they would stay for a month or a year. Whatever the time, they obeyed God’s command and encamped at the place he chose for them.
God didn’t just randomly send them out to a strange place. God always went ahead of them to lead the way and he always remained with them. Just as today, he never asks us to go somewhere that he hasn’t already been.
We stayed at one duty station for almost 5 years. Another one we were at for only 9 months. So far we’ve been at our current one for 8 months. We assume we’ll be here for 3 years or so, but the reality is – only God knows. Not even the Army is in charge of where we will go – God is. When it is time, he will direct our path and lead us to the place that he wants us to go next.
In the meantime, we are to live for him HERE. So often, we are so busy looking ahead to what is coming next that we miss the blessings of where we are NOW. Whether we are here for a few days, or a few years, I believe God has a plan and a purpose in our location and in everyone he puts in our path. Sometimes we meet someone that affects our lives in just a few moments. Sometimes we never see them again, and other times they remain in our lives for years.
As a military spouse, it’s easy to get to a new duty station and avoid getting involved in the local community because we know that we will move again one day. It’s hard to make friends knowing that you will have to leave them again. But if we avoid getting involved and meeting people, we miss out on SO MUCH. We miss out on blessings that the Lord has for us, and we miss out on the opportunity to bless others.
Living in our RV, we meet new people constantly. Some come and stay a long time at the campground, and others are only here for a night or a weekend. Either way, we love meeting these new people – hearing their stories, learning about their lives. God’s timing is perfect, and he often places people together in the same place at the same time for a purpose. We need to be open to seeing what he has planned for us each day right where we are. How can we love the people that are around us right now? What can we do for Christ today, right where we are?
What if there wasn’t a “next” to wonder about? What if right here, right now was the last place I’d be before Christ comes back? We don’t know what the future will hold, so let’s make the best of each day that we are given right where we are. If and when it is time to move on to another place, he will let us know – and we will follow him.