your skin the minute you walk out the door. It bore down like an
unwelcome guest, spreading its heat and slowing me down in the process.
I was determined to get my walk in anyway. I made my way to the base
of the trail and dug into each step with stubbornness and grit, ignoring
the sun overhead as best I could.
Midway up, my trail joined a smaller trail offering some shade. I
took the bait and stepped onto the more shady path. Immediately I was
met with relief. I found myself looking ahead to the next spot of shade
the trail offered and locked my sights there. I moved up shade by shade
It reminded me of a passage in the Bible where Moses is leading the
Israelites out of Egypt. Exodus 13:21-22 reads, “And 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:
He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire
by night, from before the people.”
The children of Israel wandered through the sun-parched wilderness
protected by one thing: a cloud of shade. In a far-off middle-eastern
desert (not too different from a hot American summer, I imagine) that
shade must have brought respite, relief, comfort and rest.
That day on the trail, shade mattered more to me than anything else. It was the only thing that kept me going.
In Moses’ time, I think, by sending a cloud of shade, God was trying
to say to the children of Israel, “Trust me. I matter more than anything
else. I’ll support you. I’ll sustain you. I’ll keep you going in the
And, if we listen carefully, God is still doing and saying the same things today.
That passage in Exodus also says God was a pillar of fire by night.
Fire is often associated with light, safety and warmth. Have an accident
on a deserted road? Light a flare. Making your way home after dark?
Take a flashlight. Chilly night? Light a fire in your hearth.
Today we can look to God for the same comforts: He promises to give us His light, safety and warmth.
Here are five more Bible passages to give you relief during those
days when you think you can’t keep going. (The first of the promised
seven is the passage mentioned above, Exodus 13:21-22.)
“I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.”
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
“Then the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send relief.”
“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy
God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold
thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”
“I am warm, I have seen the fire.”
We can see his influence everywhere if we’ll only stop and look. It
seems like we can only sense Him when we have a quiet heart, open to
reflection. We must be still enough to notice a single cloud or single
ray of light.
Said the famous architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, “God is in the details.”
By: Jana Parkin