• Debbie Salter Goodwin

Cloudy with a Chance of Knowing


What is it God wants to do in and through us in this chaotic wilderness trek we find ourselves in these days?


Is the limbo of my own making? Probably. You know the saying, when in doubt, do nothing. But nothing doesn’t move anyone forward.


Remember how the Israelites had a cloud to follow? Well, where is our cloud so we know when to go and when to stay put? I may be wrong, but I don’t think this was symbolic language. I think there was real cloud, real enough to see and follow.


There’s an opportunity here that I don’t want to miss. Is our answer in a cloud? Not that unknown cyber cloud where technical people promise me my documents are safely filed even though I can’t see them there.


But there’s the other problem. We don’t trust what we don’t see. Is normal coming? Is new on the way? Which is it because I don’t see either.


Must be in the cloud!


That’s when God reminds me in my heart where His voice is soft and feather-light, but His words are loaded with direction and reminders: I am your Cloud of Knowing and your Fire of Going.


What moves us forward is obedience. Wasn’t that the number one problem that kept the Israelites in their wilderness long enough to raise up a new generation? They were obstinate under-thinkers about God. Do we make the same mistake?


Perhaps I’m looking for the BIG answers and forget that every BIG answer comes from a series of small answers. Answers are always found in obedience. Obedience in perspective. Obedience in priorities. Obedience in relationships. Not just big decision obedience, but obedience in the everyday little things because when strung together, they take us somewhere.

Where are the little obediences that we have under-valued? Maybe that’s why we don’t have that cloud of knowing today. We’ve just tried to maintain normal. And God is trying to change normal.


I don’t know what it all means, but God does. He never shows His hand too early, but if we’re obeying His direction; we can see the signs of new creation.


We’ve all said it one way or another, that we’ve needed someone to pull the emergency STOP on the out of control frenzy and made this life what God never intended it to be: busy, distracted, and full of more dysfunction than we want to admit.


When a river meets a shutdown that blocks its free flow through a well-practiced run, it takes another way.


Well, I think God is trying to show us Another Way.


What is it for you? The way you do family? Why you worship instead of how? A nudge to reach out more intentionally? Taking time for things that bring the joy you’ve told yourself you could do without?


One thing I know, we all must be ready for new because God doesn’t do old. New mercies. New faithfulness. New blessings. New gifts. New everyhere.


I want to see God at work moving me forward into His new. Isaiah’s words remind me how to do that:

I would like to collect a list of the new things you see God doing in your family, in your heart, in your church, in the world. I’d like to share the list in a future post without names. Would you send me your thoughts? debmgoodwin@gmail.com Or put them in the comment box below. You don’t have to give details or stories. Just share the insight, the lesson, the blessing, the new thing. I think we’ll all be surprised at what God is doing among us. Then, maybe we’ll see it as a cloud of knowing beckoning us forward into something new!

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