This morning part of our reading consisted of Numbers 9—“On the day the Tabernacle was set up, the cloud covered it.But from evening until morning the cloud over the Tabernacle looked like a pillar of fire. This was the regular pattern—at night the cloud that covered the Tabernacle had the appearance of fire. Whenever the cloud lifted from over the sacred tent, the people of Israel would break camp and follow it. And wherever the cloud settled, the people of Israel would set up camp. In this way, they traveled and camped at the Lord’s command wherever he told them to go. Then they remained in their camp as long as the cloud stayed over the Tabernacle” (vs. 15-18).
I can picture the people setting up a tent and having to break it down at a moment’s notice. They had no idea how long they would be at a certain place—“Whether the cloud stayed above the Tabernacle for two days, a month, or a year, the people of Israel stayed in camp and did not move on. But as soon as it lifted, they broke camp and moved on” (vs. 22). Everything must have felt so temporary—no opportunity to “build roots,” no opportunity to feel comfortable, etc.
I thought about Hebrews 13:14, “For this world is not our permanent home…” Our purpose in life is not to be comfortable because sometimes comfort brings complacency or stagnation. We often grow spiritually when we are uncomfortable. The people in Numbers 9 did not know where or when they were going—they just had to rely on God to guide them.
When was the last time you totally trusted God to guide you? Sometimes we just have to let go of our own comfort to follow Him.
Copyright © 2013 M. Teresa Trascritti
Today would have been my father-in-law’s 72nd birthday. Although he is greatly missed by his wife and family, we have the comfort of knowing that he is with God.
I realize that the idea of a Heaven or Hell may sound like a fairytale for some and even though I may try my best to convince them that these places exist, they will not believe.
It used to bother me, but then I realized that I can’t change a person’s heart. I can’t awaken their minds or make them see the truth— “For they look, but they don’t really see. They hear, but they don’t really listen or understand” (Matt 13:13).
The saddest situation is when people who have referred to themselves as “Christians” renounce God and turn away: “…Make sure that your own hearts are not evil and unbelieving, turning you away from the living God… For if we are faithful to the end, trusting God just as firmly as when we first believed, we will share in all that belongs to Christ” (Heb 3:12-14).
I know where my father-in-law is, and I know that one day I will see him again. Whether or not you believe that there is a Heaven or Hell is irrelevant— you will be in one place or the other. Find out how you can go to Heaven! (http://www.billygraham.org/assets/media/specialsections/touchonelife/Printer-FriendlyStepstoPeacewithGod.pdf)
Copyright © 2013 M. Teresa Trascritti
This morning I woke up hearing the rain. It was a soothing sound, but I knew I had to leave the house to run errands and it would be cold and damp outside. The thought of getting wet and miserable made me wish for warm and sunny days. It made me think about the numerous pictures I had taken of the sunrise from various parts of the world. It’s amazing that the same sun that I see here is the same sun that I saw in Florida and the same sun that rose in Nepal.
The sun has always been there– it’s the same sun that was there when the world first began. It made me think about Hebrews 13:8, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” God is consistent– He is always there. He is the same God they spoke about in the Old Testament and the One we pray to today– “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End” (Rev. 22:13). No matter where in the world we are, He is there. Even when it feels like He is far away, we can be reminded of His presence by looking at the sun. I then came across this other Scripture verse:
“For the LORD God is our sun and our shield. He gives us grace and glory. The LORD will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right” (Psalm 84:11).
On days when the sun is bright and beautiful, I am reminded of God’s constant presence in my life. He has filled a void that will never be empty again.