What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?

What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?
Remember: "When God closes a door, He always opens a window!" You never know what might be out there waiting for you!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Numbers 9:23a: "At the commandment of the Lord they rested in the tents, and at the commandment of the Lord they journeyed..." (KJV)

Have you ever randomly selected a verse of Scripture and it just leapt out at you in such a way that you knew God was talking to you? I don't recommend that type of Bible reading or study as a general practice, but sometimes I do believe that God uses our random meanderings through His Word to get our attention and give us an important message. Numbers 9:23a was one of those verses God used to prepare me for His will.

Quite a few years ago now, due to circumstances beyond our control (and yet still in God's control), we had taken a step of faith and moved to a location that we dearly loved. Our prior ministry had come to a standstill, and no other doors were opened unto us. We had to make a move somewhere, so we chose to go to a small town where our older sons were attending a Christian college, and where we hoped we would find work at that college. We settled into a nice rented home and the Lord provided secular jobs in the community that would provide the basics until something better developed for us. We were determined to stay there until we got what we wanted--no matter how difficult it would be in the interim working at jobs that were totally out of our field of calling. Our whole family was together; we loved our new town and were starting to make friends. After all, we were living in the town we had dreamed of living and working in for many years. It was like a dream come true.

I had placed a little box of scripture verse cards on the windowsill above my kitchen sink, and each day I would pull out a new card with a verse for the day to read and learn. On this particular day, Numbers 9:23 happened to be the chosen verse. As I read the words I almost dropped the little card like it had burned my fingers, so shocked was I at the message...."At the commandment of the Lord they rested in the tents, and at the commandment of the Lord they journeyed...". I immediately stuffed that card right back in the box and refused to look at it again! Deep within the message struck home...we were not going to be able to stay where we were...we were "resting in the tents" away from the ministry...but the time to "journey" again was coming soon. I didn't even tell my husband. God would tell him soon enough. Sure enough, within two or three days we received a call from a District Superintendent in a far away district asking if we were still willing to candidate for a church position. Even though we had just moved less than a month before, we knew we had to say yes. It seems as though this particular church had been trying to locate us for several weeks, and even the knowledge that we had just made a major move farther away did not swerve them from their desire to meet us. To make a long story short, in just two short months from the time we had moved away from the ministry, God had moved us right back into it.

Perhaps you have also gone through periods of "resting in the tents", and maybe right now you're wondering if God will ever again give you the command to journey. One thing I have learned through this experience is that God does not lose track of His children, no matter where they may be resting or journeying. The fact that the Israelites rested in the tents at the commandment of the Lord tells me that God designs those times of rest for a purpose, to better prepare us for the journey ahead, to help us recuperate from the journey left behind, and to give us a time of respite so that we can reflect on His purpose and direction for our lives. Sometimes we need to experience "the real world" for a season to be better servants in His kingdom here on earth. Oftentimes our periods of resting come to us through circumstances that we did not initiate or anticipate...health problems, accidents, incidents of conflict within our jobs or homes, or even an educational sabbatical. We may not always be able to explain to our friends, family, or colleagues just why we need to "rest" or "journey". It was comforting to me to find this verse that explains that it is at the commandment of the Lord that we rest or journey. No matter what the earthly circumstances may be that lead us to make those decisions or have those decisions made for us, it is always at the "commandment of the Lord" that we servants of God make any move to rest or to journey. Thank you, Lord, for your sovereignty in my life.

Have you had any such times of "resting in the tents"...times for which you had no obvious explanation other than it appeared to be your only choice?  Have you looked back upon that time that was in the past, and now realize that it was God's way of preparing you for your present situation...whether it was so you could rest up for the journey ahead...or recuperate from the journey left behind...it was all a part of His plan and design for your life?  Either way...stop and take stock of your circumstances, whether good or bad, pleasant or sad...and consider what God may be doing to help you in your walk with Him through these "detours" in your life. Give thanks...and look ahead...the sun may be rising on a new horizon for you. God bless you and have a great journey!


  1. Wow. I love that verse (did God add it to the Bible just for me to read today?). My husband has just completed a season of season of enforced rest that has now transitioned into one of work, work, work and busy-ness.

    When I remember the long months of waiting, I don't mind the exhaustion and crazy schedules. And when I read this verse, I realize that we, too, journey at the Lord's command. Thanks for sharing, sweet friend!

  2. Good Morning, Marti! Thank you for sharing your perspective on this message...I know all too well from personal experience what you and your husband have been going through. It is encouraging to know that God didn't lose track of where He had put you during that time of "resting in the tents", and that He is at the helm of your present journey! Praise God for answers to prayer!


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