Every once in a while, my husband mentions another move he’s thought of, and I feel my stomach tighten. They say women are “nesters,” and sure enough, for me moving usually means a tremendous amount of work, especially when I feel like we’ve just settled in enough to begin to enjoy our present home. We’re working on the garden and beginning to enjoy nice weather and some outdoor barbeques with friends.

I started thinking about the Hebrews on their way to the Promised Land after their exodus from Egypt. They wandered for forty years in the Sinai Desert and had an amazing way to know when it was time to pack up their tents and parcels and hit the dusty trail again. The Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night.”1

In spite of their wanderings in the desert due to their disobediences and discontent, the protective pillar was a constant in their lives. Their little ones grew up in the desert never knowing a life without the column of God. It gave them shade in the daytime and warmth and light in the night.2

When they finally crossed the Jordan River into the Promised Land, God’s visible presence would no longer lead them, but He gave them a promise: “It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”3 Now it was time to “walk by faith rather than sight.”4

So what happened to the pillar?

It seems like about 500 years later, the prophet Isaiah describes the pillar again, this time appearing around all those united in His name: “Then God will bring back the ancient pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night and mark Mount Zion and everyone in it with his glorious presence, his immense, protective presence, shade from the burning sun and shelter from the driving rain.”5

What an encouragement for me to find this verse! I can claim the protection, leading, and guidance of His presence. Though I don’t see it outside my front door, it’s there just as surely as if it was visible.6 I believe that when it is time to move, I will sense God’s guidance and I’ll be ready.

The next time my husband says something about moving, I know what I’ll say: “As soon as God’s pillar is in motion, we’ll move right with it.”

  1. Exodus 13:21 KJV
  2. See Psalm 105:39.
  3. Deuteronomy 31:8 ESV
  4. 2 Corinthians 5:7
  5. Isaiah 4:5 The Message
  6. See Hebrews 11:27.