Numbers 9: 15-23
15 On the day the tabernacle was set up, the cloud covered the tabernacle, the tent of the covenant; and from evening until morning it was over the tabernacle, having the appearance of fire. 16 It was always so: the cloud covered it by day and the appearance of fire by night. 17 Whenever the cloud lifted from over the tent, then the Israelites would set out; and in the place where the cloud settled down, there the Israelites would camp. 18 At the command of the Lord the Israelites would set out, and at the command of the Lord they would camp. As long as the cloud rested over the tabernacle, they would remain in camp. 19 Even when the cloud continued over the tabernacle for many days, the Israelites would keep the charge of the Lord, and would not set out. 20 Sometimes the cloud would remain for a few days over the tabernacle, and according to the command of the Lord they would remain in camp; then according to the command of the Lord they would set out. 21 Sometimes the cloud would remain from evening until morning; and when the cloud lifted in the morning, they would set out, or if it continued for a day and a night, when the cloud lifted they would set out. 22 Whether it was two days, or a month, or a longer time, that the cloud continued over the tabernacle, resting upon it, the Israelites would remain in camp and would not set out; but when it lifted they would set out. 23 At the command of the Lord they would camp, and at the command of the Lord they would set out. They kept the charge of the Lord, at the command of the Lord by Moses.
For the Israelites, the cloud that covered the “tent of meeting” was a very reassuring presence of God with them – His guidance and direction was at hand; He was in control of their wellbeing and of their future.
When we experience the loss of someone close to us through death or the breaking of a relationship, we frequently find ourselves wondering what to do – how to cope with that loss, and we wander through a desert of pain and sorrow. And, although we have learnt from the Scriptures that God is with us in all circumstances, we find it hard to go to that quiet place where we can share all our hurting thoughts with Him. Our world becomes small and all that exists is our sadness. We simply cannot look beyond that.
We forget how close God is to us; that he calls us to reach out to him no matter what our circumstances are. And so often we find ourselves remaining under a cloud of grief; unable to hear God; unable to be led by God through the wilderness of sorrow to a land of contentment and peace.
Is this disobedience or is it that we limit the greatness of God and his capacity to lead us and love us? Emotional pain can wear us down, blur our vision, but God calls us to move on. If we will walk with Him through the wilderness of grief, there is contentment and peace waiting.
Oh Lord, who pervades all the earth and sea;
Whose Mighty Spirit the Universe moves;
Who was, and who is, and who will forever be,
Help me to remember that I cannot limit You, the Limitless One
Help me to stop reducing You to my size; to my thinking.
Help me to include You in every part of my life –
especially in my grief, my sorrow,
Help me to hear You calling me
through the cloud of uncertainty that exists right now.