“By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people.” Exodus 13:21 – 22 (NIV)
Celebrating God’s goodness, our family had just enjoyed another memory-filled Christmas in our home. Now, not only were the Christmas decorations packed up, so was our lives. My husband and I sat in our empty living room knowing we were supposed to move, but feeling certain we were leaving our hearts behind. Family, friends and our faith’s foundation had all been built strong in that community, yet God’s direction indicated it was time to go.
The Israelites also heard God say “go”. After a night of celebrating God’s goodness in the form of His protection from the angel of death, they too were moving. Maybe like my family, they were hesitant, not knowing what their new home would be like. Yet, they too knew God was leading them forward.
God was moving His people, out of Egypt, to a new home. As they went forward, He gave them this promise: He would go ahead of them. He would guide them during the day with a pillar of cloud and provide light at night with a pillar of fire. Constantly in front of them, the Lord did not remove the pillar of cloud or pillar of fire from its place.
God provides us this same promise. Even when we are in the unsure and dark seasons of our lives, God leads. Psalm 23:4 “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” (NIV)
In our seasons of joy, of light and closeness to God, the pillar He leads us with seems clearer, easier to follow. Not only can we see what God is doing, we can clearly see where He is leading as well.
It’s when our life is dark, that the following becomes more difficult. Family friction turns to fractures. Pressures had work mount higher and higher. What is God doing? Or what is He allowing? You grow weary of the constant opportunities to grow; you long to have a season to settle in. Be comfortable again.
In these seasons of the dark, we can reflect on the faithfulness of our God for strength.
Looking out your window, the trees are now bare. Their nakedness seems vulnerable to the chilling wind, rain and snow. Yet, we know that winter is a season; not lasting indefinitely. God’s faithfulness will once again bring green and growth come spring.
While this time in your life blows hard with chill, you can be assured: the winter will not always be. God’s seasons, whether in nature or in you, are consistent. Spring always follows winter; always. His faithfulness will follow you through winter as well.
Lord, thank you for Your examples of Your faithfulness, in scripture and in Your creation. Open my eyes to see Your leading in every season of my life and to keep following, knowing You are moving toward Your goodness. Amen
Today, empower a young woman in your life with Devotions for a Revolutionary Year to help her follow God’s pillar in all the seasons of her life in 2014!
In the comments below, let’s share a time when God’s direction led us to a good place, using these memories of His faithfulness to strengthen us today.