Living in the Most High’s shelter, camping in the Almighty’s shade, I say to the Lord, “You are my refuge, my stronghold! You are my God—the one I trust!” Psalm 91:1-2 CEB
When my children were small, that word meant work – and becoming a nomad of sorts for a week. A family campout was a no-brainer since it was much less expensive to sleep on the ground in a tent and cook our own meals than to stay in a hotel and eat out for every meal. So we packed up the car with the tent, outdoor cooking equipment, sleeping bags and all the paraphernalia needed and headed down the road to adventure.
But all that extra work and planning was worth it! Looking back, I can smile at the time we visited the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon and spent the first half of our trip in the laundromat drying out from the rain. Or the trip when our five-year-old middle daughter wanted to know what language they spoke in NY as we crossed the border from Pennsylvania to a state she had never before visited.
So many happy snapshot memories flood my mind of trips to theme parks, castles and campgrounds. I can still smell the aroma of bacon frying in a pan on an outdoor grill, feel the cooling shaded of tall pines, and the warmth of an evening campfire.
As I remembered our family times this morning, I began to wonder what it was like for the Israelites as they camped in the wilderness. I’m sure they didn’t have lovely shaded campsites with electrical and water hookups. LOL!
But they did have a campfire by night and a cooling shade by day as their God travelled with them. They literally got to camp under God’s shade cloud, protecting them from the heat of the wilderness sun. The huge nightly bonfire of his presence kept wild animals away as well as providing warmth and light. Awesome!
Much like our family trips cemented relationships between us as a family, their experiences on this epic journey taught them to trust their God and to take refuge in their growing relationship with him, On a personal level, I can see many similarities between their travels and my own life journey as I learn to camp under the shadow of God, learning to trust him and rely on his protection.
Thank you Lord for cementing my family together in love through those camping trips. Thank you for cementing my relationship with you during those life experiences when I needed to camp out in your presence, learning to trust and rely on you! Amen.