My idea of “camping out” is staying in a hotel with a window that gives me a view of trees. But I realize that many families actually go into a forest with a tent and camp out. Maybe you and your family are some of the brave souls who have experienced a week without electricity and hot showers. If so, I am sure you have made some memories that will not soon be forgotten.
There were some things God didn’t want his people to forget either – like where He had brought them from. So every year they were supposed to reenact the early years by camping out in shelters made from tree branches…
“For seven days you must live outside in little shelters… This will remind each new generation of Israelites that I made their ancestors live in shelters when I rescued them from the land of Egypt. I am the Lord your God.” ~ Leviticus 23:42-43 NLT
These shelters were meant to be visible reminders of how simply, and dependently, their ancestors lived during the 40 years of wandering in the wilderness. I don’t know if the kids understood the symbolism, but I am sure they enjoyed these Holydays of camping out like our kids enjoy the vacations we take today. God not only wanted families to make memories together but to remember all He had done for them and where He had brought them from.
On days when we feel despondent and burdened down with care; when our songs tend to the minor instead of the major; when the glass merely has a few drops in it – never mind being “half-empty”; on days such as this we must “dwell in the shelter of the Most High” (Ps. 91:1 NIV) and remember all that our God has done for us.
When we are tempted to complain about what we have or don’t have, then it’s time to remember where God has brought us from… to think back on the early days of our marriage when we didn’t have two dollars to rub together but we had each other and the dream of making a difference in the world side by side.
With the remembering comes the reminder that the same Lord God who was faithful to lead the Israelites to the Promised Land, (meeting every need along the way,) is the One leading us today.
“Camp out” on that idea for a while!
Blessings and peace,