Have you ever needed protection? Have you ever felt like a crash-test dummy--just waiting for the next crash experiment? These type of feelings might lead us to ask the question, "Does God really provide protection for us today as he did for the Israelites in the desert?" What about my "cloud by day" and "fire by night?" The truth is that we all need providential protection. We all need that "cloud by day" and "fire by night." Without it, we will end up feeling like we are wondering aimlessly through our lives. Right? God's protection and provision for the Israelites in the desert was not this on-again/off-again type of scenario. It never left its place. The fire was constant at night. The cloud was constant during the day. So is the Lord's presence with us.
In Matthew 28:20b, Jesus leaves a comforting departing word for His followers, "And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." How about that? Nothing that the disciples would do from that point on would have to be done alone. Nothing that they would do would be accomplished by their strength alone. Nothing that they would do would be without that providential protection from the Lord. Jesus promised that His Spirit would never leave them...never. God will always protect His purposes for us.
What about you today? Are you in need of a little shade? Do you need a little warmth and guidance during your night? Jesus promises that He will never leave you. You are never abandoned in your time of need. You are never alone.
We should never live carelessly--as if we were this untouchable, unstoppable experiment. Yet, we should find comfort in knowing that the Lord is with us always. Every breath we take. Every step we take (starting to sound a little like the Police--it is unintentional). We have a friend that sticks closer than a brother. We have a Savior to cast our burdens upon. We have a Father who will never leave us or forsake us.
So next time you feel like an open target, next time you feel as though you have lost all control and expect another crash-test procedure--take comfort. The Lord is near. Always. Until the end of the age.
We'll just leave the crashing up to the dummies.