Isaiah 4:5-6 (NLT): Then the Lord will provide shade for Mount Zion and all who assemble there. He will provide a canopy of cloud during the day and smoke and flaming fire at night, covering the glorious land. It will be a shelter from daytime heat and a hiding place from storms and rain.
I have always loved the imagery in my mind of the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night as the Jews were making their way from Egyptian slavery to the Promised Land. What a sense of protection and safety those pillars must have meant for God’s people! They knew that they were not alone in those difficulties times!
Today, as people of God, we know also that we are not alone in these difficult times. Instead of pillars of clouds or fire, we have the Holy Spirit. In John 14: 15-17, Jesus said to His disciples, “If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.“
It is the Holy Spirit in us that gives us those sensations that let us know that trouble is ahead. How many of us have had that “feeling” not to go when the red light changes, and in hesitating, we were saved from the difficulties of a bad wreck in which we could have been killed? I had to learn to realize what that tug at my conscience meant, and to begin to respect and obey it. It brought me such a feeling of being loved and watched over.
Today, as the world deals with a storms of a pandemic, race protests, unemployment and lost businesses, and a reality that no one ever thought they would have to live through, there is a peace in knowing that we are sheltered and protected by the power of God living in us in the person of the Holy Spirit.
May we all be comforted today in the knowledge that even in our new normal, God is with us, and, therefore, we are not alone by day or by night.