This morning I was pondering the Israelites as they wandered in the wilderness. I spent a bit of time imagining sunrise on the desert and people emerging, sleepy, from their tents. They automatically glance over to the tabernacle to see what’s up today, and see the cloud has lifted. How would they react?
I chuckled to imagine an irritated mother groaning, “Are you kidding me? Not AGAIN!” as she thinks of all the packing that has to be done.
I cast my mind’s eye to the next tent, to the weary and slightly cynical neighbor who rolls his eyes, thinking, “Eh–whatever…” as he heads out to gather the daily manna.
Another tent away, there’s a sick person who is struggling. “I can’t take this!” she gasps, “Please, Lord, make this stop or give me the strength to go on!”
A beleaguered father, desperate for an end to the dust and uncertainty, immediately hopes, “Maybe this time, at last, we’ll get to the Promised Land!”
And somewhere there’s the curmudgeon still cranky about having to leave Egypt, muttering, “This way, that way–all this moving and yanking about! Shoulda stayed in slavery!”
So many types of people, so many types of reactions, and yet not one is focused on the fact that God was literally in their midst, traveling with them, leading them each step of the way.
It kind of makes me stop to wonder: Will it take me 40 years to learn that lesson, too?