It’s been a hot summer and I’m starting to look for that nice cloud cover followed by a few cool drops of rain. The other day, after noticing the blanket of white covering the sun, my husband asked if I’d like to go for a run. Having spent most of the summer on the treadmill, I readily agreed. And initially, our excursion was very pleasant. The clouds protected us from the sun’s intense rays and a gentle breeze circulated the cooled air. But about twenty minutes into it, the cloud cover blew away and the sun hit us full force. The temperature instantly climbed ten degrees. The heat drained me and made me want to quit. As I ran, I thought about the Hebrews when they were making their escape form Egypt. The Bible tells us God guided them with fire by night and a cloud by day. This got me thinking about what it might have been like to travel through the wilderness. Sinai was a very hot and dry area, with little if any shade. Dehydration and overheating would have been a real concern. Luckily God shielded them from the intense rays of the sun by providing a cloud cover. And if they had tried to forge their own way instead of waiting for God’s leading, they would have stepped away from protective barrier. This got me thinking about all the times I’ve gotten ahead of God. So often I’m so convinced I know which direction He wants to take me, I’m off running without taking the time to pray. The only problem is the cloud hasn’t moved. It’s still back at the starting line, waiting on God’s perfect timing. Luckily, God doesn’t allow me to wander aimlessly in the wilderness for long and always guides me lovingly back to His tender, protective care—after I’ve exhausted myself with my own efforts and plans. Hopefully the next time I’m tempted to run full speed ahead, I’ll remember my hot run and wait on God’s leading instead of trying to forge my own way.
Deuteronomy 1:32-33 “In spite of all this, you did not trust in the LORD your God, who went ahead of you on your journey, in fire by night and in a cloud by day, to search out places for you to camp and to show you the way you should go. (NIV)
Dear Lord, help me to keep my eyes on You, trusting in Your guidance, waiting on Your leading. Thank You for the faithful way you watch over and protect me.
Jennifer Slattery is a novelist, freelance writer, and the marketing representative for the literary website, Clash of the Titles. She writes for Christ to the World Ministries, The Christian Pulse, Samie Sisters, and Reflections in Hindsight. In 2009 she won the HACWN writing contest and in 2010 she was an Operation First Novel Finalist, placed second in the Dixie Kane and fourth in the Golden Pen. She’s also written for numerous publications and websites including the Breakthrough Intercessor, Granola Bar Devotions, Bloom, Affictionado, and the Christian Fiction Online Magazine. She has a short piece in Bethany House’s Love is a Flame (under a pen name), forwarded by Gary Chapman and another piece in Cathy Messecar’s a Still and Quiet Soul. You can find out more about her and her writing at