Regular nibbles from the Bible. . .come for a bite, leave with an appetite

May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight. (Psalm 19:14, MSG)

Monday, February 25, 2013

TIMING and GOD'S WILL (Numbers 9)

This morning, I read "Night of day, it made no difference--when the Cloud lifted, they marched."

My mind scrambled to take in the scene, especially at night time. As a writer, I try to imagine describing the scene, and I have a dozen questions.  Who knew that the Cloud lifted? Did they have an organized watch for that special purpose? I would guess the Levites, or even Aaron and his sons, kept watch. They were in charge of blowing the trumpets, announcing the move. And they camped next to the Tabernacle, where the Cloud must have dominated the sky overhead. They were in the best position to see it move.

It would be even more difficult during the day. What if the children were at play? The parents at work? How do you survive living on the road as they did?

How long does a group of 600,000 men plus women and children stretch? How much space did their camp take?

How much time passed from the time the Cloud lifted until it moved? Was it always the same length of time? Where did God drawn the line between adequate time to prepare to move and dawdling?

God gave them visual clues (Pillar of Cloud/Pillar of Fire) and verbal clues (trumpet blasts) to announce the time to move on. They couldn't make a mistake.

There are days that I want God to make the direction He wants me to move in as clear as He did for the Israelites. Sometimes He does. This spring, I am preparing several different book proposals. They vary greatly; one is nonfiction, one is contemporary romance, a third is a self-publishing endeavor for novellas, and another is historical romance for a new publisher that I hope to work with long term.

I have great hopes for all four of them--and know from experience they probably won't all get a green light. This morning I prayed for God to make His will clear, to close the wrong doors and open the right ones. I should also have asked for God to open the right door at the right time. I sent in a proposal this morning. If the answer is "yes," I trust God will let me know when I need the information.

Almost five years ago, God lifted a pillar from Denver and forced me out. I lived in and loved Colorado for almost twenty years. Then in 2008 my daughter died. I didn't know that among other losses, it started the avalanche of moving me on. A job I had enjoyed for ten years wouldn't let me take a long scheduled vacation to see my first grandchild. My mother's health failed, and she needed to move into a nursing home. I couldn't afford to rent an apartment by myself. Day by day, I became convinced the time had come for me to move.

The bottom line application from today's passage: When God tells us to move, it's time to start packing.

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