Camping

The world has become more and more about immediacy, instant access, and saving time. Modern conveniences reflect the value many societies place on arriving. While the conveniences developed may be modern day, impatience is not a new problem. Reading Numbers 33, we see the stages of the Israelites journey after the Exodus.

The Israelites set out from Rameses on the fifteenth day of the first month, the day after the Passover. They marched out defiantly in full view of all the Egyptians,

who were burying all their firstborn, whom the Lord had struck down among them; for the Lord had brought judgment on their gods.

The Israelites left Rameses and camped at Sukkoth.

They left Sukkoth and camped at Etham, on the edge of the desert.

They left Etham, turned back to Pi Hahiroth, to the east of Baal Zephon, and camped near Migdol.

They left Pi Hahiroth and passed through the sea into the desert, and when they had traveled for three days in the Desert of Etham, they camped at Marah.

They left Marah and went to Elim, where there were twelve springs and seventy palm trees, and they camped there.

They left Elim and camped by the Red Sea.

They left the Red Sea and camped in the Desert of Sin.

They left the Desert of Sin and camped at Dophkah.

They left Dophkah and camped at Alush.

They left Alush and camped at Rephidim, where there was no water for the people to drink.

They left Rephidim and camped in the Desert of Sinai.

They left the Desert of Sinai and camped at Kibroth Hattaavah.

They left Kibroth Hattaavah and camped at Hazeroth.

They left Hazeroth and camped at Rithmah.

They left Rithmah and camped at Rimmon Perez.

They left Rimmon Perez and camped at Libnah.

They left Libnah and camped at Rissah.

They left Rissah and camped at Kehelathah.

They left Kehelathah and camped at Mount Shepher.

They left Mount Shepher and camped at Haradah.

They left Haradah and camped at Makheloth.

They left Makheloth and camped at Tahath.

They left Tahath and camped at Terah.

They left Terah and camped at Mithkah.

They left Mithkah and camped at Hashmonah.

They left Hashmonah and camped at Moseroth.

They left Moseroth and camped at Bene Jaakan.

They left Bene Jaakan and camped at Hor Haggidgad.

They left Hor Haggidgad and camped at Jotbathah.

They left Jotbathah and camped at Abronah.

They left Abronah and camped at Ezion Geber.

They left Ezion Geber and camped at Kadesh, in the Desert of Zin.

They left Kadesh and camped at Mount Hor, on the border of Edom. At the Lord’s command Aaron the priest went up Mount Hor, where he died on the first day of the fifth month of the fortieth year after the Israelites came out of Egypt. Aaron was a hundred and twenty-three years old when he died on Mount Hor.

The Canaanite king of Arad, who lived in the Negev of Canaan, heard that the Israelites were coming.

They left Mount Hor and camped at Zalmonah.

They left Zalmonah and camped at Punon.

They left Punon and camped at Oboth.

They left Oboth and camped at Iye Abarim, on the border of Moab.

They left Iye Abarim and camped at Dibon Gad.

They left Dibon Gad and camped at Almon Diblathaim.

They left Almon Diblathaim and camped in the mountains of Abarim, near Nebo.

They left the mountains of Abarim and camped on the plains of Moab by the Jordan across from Jericho. There on the plains of Moab they camped along the Jordan from Beth Jeshimoth to Abel Shittim. Numbers 33:3-49

Whew! That's quite a lot of camping. I'm sure more than once along the journey they were just ready to arrive. Can you relate? Have you been so looking forward to the next milestone or next achievement that you've grown tired of the pit stops along the way? I think it was no coincidence that the journey ended up being a life-long one. There is purpose in your pit stops. Where are you in life right at this moment? Likely you're somewhere between the last achieved goal and the next one. This place right now where you are spiritually “camping” as you travel from one spiritual location to another is a beautiful part of your journey. Call out to God from right where you are, and ask Him to teach you more about your “campsite”. There is meaning in the journey. It's easy to get weary of camping or impatient in the in-between times, but in these times it's important to remember that they are building up to the promised land- the culmination of all God had laid out for you to complete for His kingdom.

Sometimes impatience isn't the problem. Other times we tarry at a “campsite” because before us loom mountains. We see obstacles on the path to achieving our goals that seem insurmountable. Sometimes we stop because we spend so much time looking at the circumstances that we forget the magnitude of our promised land is far greater than the magnitude of any trouble that could come our way. Other times we stop because we create the mountains. We slow our path with “what if's” and “I can't's” that loom even higher than our actual circumstances. Whatever the case, be encouraged to keep moving. One day at a time, enjoy the place where you find yourself, and seek how to better serve in those “in between” places.