Time To Move

In the Old Testament book of Exodus God sent a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night to guide the Israelites as they fled their bondage in Egypt. It was a sign of God’s faithfulness and care in providing a resting place along the way and a lesson then and now that God never forsakes us.

When that pillar of cloud appeared, it was time to move.

Being in the throes of moving this weekend, I really sympathize with those Israelite women. Just when they had the last basket of clay pots unpacked and neatly arranged in just the right spot in the kitchen, someone would shout, the cloud has moved. And off they go again. Yikes!

They knew their God and trusted that when He said to move, they moved. As long as they had their trust in this loving God, their every move was promised to be best and blessed.

Most of our moves over the forty plus years my husband and I have been married have centered around what was best for our growing family. We didn’t move often. Only three times in 39 years. But the cloud has moved twice now in just three years.

With each move I find myself reflecting on just what was best and blessed about the place I am leaving This time, even though the stay was short, there was much to ponder and learn.

The memories in this most recent resting place won’t be filled with Kodak moments of bringing home a newborn, first days of school, or sleepless nights before the weddings. This latest temporary resting place brought with it lessons. Valuable, hard lessons that I have come to realize are truly best for me and a blessing.

In these last three years I experienced a pandemic that hit very close to home. I faced mortality, my own and that of my loved ones and come out the other side with a calmness. It took me a couple years but I made progress. I learned to trust God with my fears.

In the last three years my husband had cancer surgery, retired from his fast-paced career in the corporate world, and continued to suffer from the effects of chronic back pain. All this puts a strain on these golden years. I learned, kicking and screaming (literally), a deeper sense of empathy and compassion. I faced a selfishness in me and did some housecleaning. God is teaching me the meaning of unconditional love. I’m learning to trust God with my relationships.

In these last three years my calling to provide women with a place to grow in awareness of God’s love, feel comfortable in questioning, and know a true sense of belonging was strengthened as I watched Firstfruits survive the pandemic and all its challenges. God’s faithfulness is a promise when we answer the call. I learned to trust God with my dreams.

Three huge lessons from this resting place. All are blessings and all are best for me.

But the pillar of cloud has once again begun to move. So, as I sweep the dried leaves from the foyer floor for the last time and shut the door behind us, I leave a smarter woman. A freer woman. A grateful woman.


Exodus 13:21-22

21 And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night. 22 The pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night did not depart from before the people.

Joan Carey, Firstfruits executive director, is an author and speaker with a passion for helping women grow in their relationships with God. Her Ponder This book contains a series of modern day parables sure to get you thinking about and seeing our extraordinary God in our ordinary experiences. Joan invites you to use resources on this website for daily reflection in your journey to grow in God's loving care for you.
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