I'm always amazed at how God leads us to a passage of scripture that so clearly sheds light and life into a particular situation or struggle. Many of you know what I'm talking about. The past year, we have been on ancient world history which has included the exodus of the Israelites out of Egypt and ultimately how God led them to the promised land. We even built our own tabernacles (picture).
This [lego] guy is resting in his booth at Succoth.
The arc of the covenant (back in the holy of holies) even has mini jar of manna, Aaron's staff, and the ten commandments in it. The items in the front room are the lampstand, the alter of incense and the alter for bread.
Each of the children made their own tabernacle complete with tents surrounding it labeled according to the position of each tribe of Israel.
After watching younger kids play "wandering in the wilderness" for a couple of days, it was not hard to imagine being an Israelite (as a full-time RV family), completely dependent on the Lord, sometimes questioning the decision to leave civilization and all that is familiar, to step out in faith into the complete unknown and going to unfamiliar terrains.
One night, late last fall I'm feeling rather discouraged because we've had agendas and plans and things are not happening as expected. I've since learned this happens alot in this lifestyle. We were staying in the backyard of the church which was great, but getting cold and WE wanted get to Texas. We had some repair issues on the RV that were not getting resolved. On one of those "what in the world are we doing?" wide awake nights, God gave me a very clear but unexpected word as I opened the book of Numbers (originally thinking it would be more of a counting sheep effect). Here is what I read:
Numbers 9:15- Now on the day that the tabernacle was raised up, the cloud covered the tabernacle, the tent of the Testimony; from evening until morning it was above the tabernacle like the appearance of fire. So it was always: the cloud covered it by day and the appearance of fire by night. Whenever the cloud was taken up from above the tabernacle, after that the children of Israel would journey; and in the place where the cloud settled, there the children of Israel would pitch their tents. At the command of the Lord the children of Israel would journey,and at the command of the Lord they would camp; as long as the cloud stayed above the tabernacle they remained encamped. Even when the cloud continued long, many days above the tabernacle, the children of Israel kept the charge of the Lord and did not journey.....vs 23 At the command of the Lord they remained encamped and at the command of the Lord they journeyed; they kept the charge of the Lord....
People often ask us why we are doing this. I have to remind myself as well. Our vision or direction with this was primarily to position ourselves to learn how to listen to the Lord and not be bogged down with stuff so much that we can't respond to what he asks of us. We planned to be in Texas early winter but through circumstances beyond our control we were not. I can't tell you how many times our itinerary has changed or re-routed but we have learned to be unmoved by it because we know that we journey by the command of the Lord, not by our own decision.
Quite often the things that we get discouraged by are meant to realign us from our will into God's will. Most of the winter we stayed in the midwest (with RV in heated storage) and looking back (now that we are in Texas) I could name many reasons that we needed to stay during that time (relationships needing healing, opportunities to share the love of God with certain people we would not have met otherwise, chance to organize our storage unit better to make finding needed things smoother... list could go on and on).
James 4:13-15 says "Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit"; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, "if the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that."
So if you were to ask us where we are going next, I guess you might say, we are "following the Clouds".