Updated: Aug 5, 2022
“I will walk among you; I will be your God, and you will be my people.” (Leviticus 26:12)
It’s summer time, and time for vacations and road trips. Hopefully they will be a little bit more “uneventful” than road trips in the movies, like in National Lampoon’s Vacation, or Little Miss Sunshine. My daughter Alison and I are taking a road trip next week (13 hours in one day) as she moves to Utah for her new adventure as an intern with InterVarsity, her car jam-packed with necessities and treasures. On road trips, we love listening to podcasts, talking, singing, and enjoying the journey.
Some of my most vivid memories have been road trips. I remember a fun trip as a little girl, with my mom and toy poodle Mimi, going from Oregon to the Redwoods (the huge trees making a lasting impression on me), down to Mexico (where we had to go in and immediately turn around, finding out we couldn’t bring our dog in). On the many road trips with my husband and kids, we’ve travelled well. One of my favorite memories was one of the times we drove up and back from Southern California to the Sequoias, to help a Christian camp prepare for the summer. We listened to the audiobook Holes and it captivated us. Our road trips also became more pleasant when we graduated to a van, and our three children could spread out a bit, and not be three in a row. Parents with multiple kids know what I’m talking about!
Road trips appear all through the Bible, mostly by walking, but also by camel (check out Rebekah’s trip to be Isaac’s bride in Genesis 24), or by donkey (check out Balaam’s story in Numbers 22), or other ways. Do an online Bible search for “journey,” “travel,” or “sent out” and you’ll find a myriad of road trips, beginning with Adam and Eve being sent out of Eden (Genesis 3), to Abraham going to a place he did not know (Genesis 12), to the Israelites, to the Gospels, to Paul and others traveling amidst many dangers to start the early church.
One of the most well-known “road trips” or journeys of the Bible is the 40 years the Israelites walked in the desert, in their quest for the Promised Land. Their reaction at one point is humorous, because it reminds us a bit of some of our own road trips (“Are we there yet?”):
Then the people of Israel set out from Mount Hor, taking the road to the Red Sea to go around the land of Edom. But the people grew impatient with the long journey, and they began to speak against God and Moses. “Why have you brought us out of Egypt to die here in the wilderness?” they complained. “There is nothing to eat here and nothing to drink. And we hate this horrible manna!” (Numbers 21:3-5, NLT)
The Lord’s response:
So the Lord sent poisonous snakes among the people, and many were bitten and died. (Numbers 21:6, NLT)
The people cried out to Moses, who interceded for the people, and God relented. Apparently, God is not a big fan of complaining as we go through our journey with God. Good thing to remember.
This leads us to our own journey of life. God truly is with us all the way. He tells the Israelites: “I will walk among you; I will be your God, and you will be my people.” (Leviticus 26:12) He is also there at the destination (see Revelation 22). Let us consider our journey – to do it well, with lots of laughter, patience, joy in our adventures, faith that we’ll get there, and with less complaints and bad attitudes. We can longingly say, “Come, Lord Jesus!” (Revelation 22:20) but let us go wherever God wants to take us – even if we have no idea where we’ll end up — and travel well.
Kelly can be reached via email.