"And He said, 'My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest.'"

Exodus 33:14

My first encounter with that verse was in a dream. At the time, my family and I lived in Johannesburg, South Africa. We had a good life surrounded by family and friends. In the dream, we were asked to move from Johannesburg to an unknown land. As I urged upon God my reasons why we could not leave at that time, a Bible opened, and a finger pointed to Exodus 33:14.

The following morning, as I sat in my prayer room, trying to remember the verse in the dream, I received a text message from an unknown number. To my great surprise, the text was Exodus 33:14 as the verse of the day. I noted it down in my prayer journal and thanked God for His promise to be with us. I didn’t think much more about the dream until two weeks later when my husband got an invitation to move and work in Canada.

Moving was the last thing on our minds because we had a settled, comfortable, and good life in Johannesburg. Not wanting to shut an opportunity the Lord may be presenting, we reluctantly submitted our documents in the hope that it would take years to process the papers. To our great surprise, our work permits came in less than four months. We had not shared this situation with any family members, not even our children.

So we decided to take a night in prayer. During that prayer, God kept bringing assurance that His presence would go with us, and we would find rest. By 3:00 a.m., we both felt at peace.

So, holding on to the promise in Exodus 33, we decided to relocate to Canada.

The following morning, we started sharing with our children and family members. There was a lot of resistance from our children. Our siblings and friends questioned the seemingly rushed decision and wondered if we were under any form of financial pressure. One friend offered to help us out. But we told them we felt impressed to go, and we were going to trust God because He promised to go with us.

The following days and weeks passed in a daze. There was so much to do in such a short time! We had to sell our home, pack, hand in our work resignations, and perform all the various tasks that are required for an international move. All along the way, we kept claiming the Exodus 33:14 verse, saying, “Lord, you promised that Your presence would go with us. May you manifest your presence even now.”

One example of God’s gracious presence was when we were in transit at Heathrow Airport. I casually said, “God, next time I travel a long distance, I want to fly business class.” An hour before our flight to Toronto, we heard our names called through the intercom. Upon getting to the counter, we were told that there had been a change in the seating arrangement. My family had been upgraded to business class. I was speechless!

When we got to Canada, we constantly felt His presence. I remember waking up at 2:00 a.m. one morning and asking God what His plans were concerning my job. I had resigned from my position as a Senior Lecturer in Johannesburg. I reminded Him of His promise to be with us.

A week later, I got a letter from the Memorial University of Newfoundland offering me a teaching position in the Department of Adult Education.

God has been faithful in fulfilling His promise. And now, 14 years later, I still claim that promise whenever I am faced with a difficult situation.

Call to Action

In spite of your personal inclinations, turn every situation over to the Lord. Claim His promises, and keep yourself open to His calling. If you do this, He will come calling.

Remember, He has said, “[I] will not leave you nor forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6).

All scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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