waiting for a sign.

Numbers 9: 15-23 "whenever the cloud ascended from the tent, the israelites would march. and the Israelites would camp wherever the cloud settled. " - Numbers 9:17

so often, life feels like a little more than a series of decisions: should i stay in school? should i find a job? should i change my major? do i need to find a spouse? so often, we look to God for some kind of clear answer telling us just what to do.

about a year ago i was given the opportunity to go back to haiti for the second time. I struggled with the decision to go because of funds and because of where my heart was.

now, one major thing you need for a mission trip is funds. for this trip i sent out a series of support letters and talked to numerous people to raise funds. eventually after sending x amount of letters funds came in. half was donations and half was what i worked for.

as i counted the funds to see if i had enough for my trip, it reminded me that God will provide and when He does and gives things for a purpose. I reviewed all the pros and cons and finally made a choice. i even left my job at the time because i felt God was leading me very clearly.

while wandering through the wilderness, the people of Israel knew when to move and when to stay put because God gave them a sign: if the cloud that covered the tabernacle stayed put, they were to do likewise; when the cloud moved, they were to move. In my situation I felt that the "cloud" had moved and that I should go to haiti.

but we don't always get a clear sign from God. there have been many times when I have prayed, sought the advice of friends and family, and waited for God to point us in the right direction, only to get ... nothing. for example, when I was trying to decide whether I should quit my job, i agonized for months and days with no sense of what God wanted me to do. where was our sign?

the truth is, God doesnt always move the clouds to show us which way to go. instead, God asks us to be faithful, to make choices with our lives that honor him. He asks us to get our priorities in order, to turn away from worldly standards of success and achievement and to bend our will to that of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. and as we follow his example, walking in his ways, we begin to think more like him. Paul tells us in Romans 12:2: " Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will."

we will make our share of mistakes in life decisions. at times, we will undoubtedly go when we should stay and stay when we should go. but the promise that God gives us is that no matter where we go - to a new state, haiti, to a new job, to a new stage of family life - our God goes with us.

- Simon Souksanh