Sleeping outdoors during Tabernacles, with the sounds of traffic, sprinklers hitting plastic fences, small animals running around on secret business, air leaking out of the air mattress, aching muscles from odd sleeping positions, cold air seeping into the sleeping bag through a zipper gap, emergency vehicles honking and wailing just as you start to finally drift off, makes us wonder, “Why do we do this again?”
The simple answer is that we love God. We want to do everything He says as best we can. As we work our way through some light difficulties in obedience we are constantly reminded that we don’t ‘have’ to do this, we get to. It’s not Law, it’s the living Word of God. It’s not legalism, it’s love. We discover that the real difficulty is in our flesh, in our attitudes about God and His Word, and not in a few minor discomforts.
We re-learn that with the discomfort jiggling us out of our complacency also comes blessing. The full moon shining through the clear panes of our tent top. Delightfully crisp fall air after a hot day of work. Increasing silence as the crickets fall asleep for the winter and the frogs dig in for their three-month nap. The rustle of dry leaves in the pumpkin patch and corn stalks of our garden as a light breeze stirs them gently. Giggling grand kids jockey for position next to Grandma. The funny way six year-old Keira tells Grandma to “scoot over” as she tries to get in her sleeping bag.
The quietly joyful conversation with our Father as He joins us in our tent for His ‘camping trip.’
May God be with you also. Shalom.