My heart has been so heavy recently in the light of COVID-19. People are scared for their lives and their livelihoods. We’re in frustrating and uncertain times- I know there will be a light at the end of the tunnel; but, sometimes it’s hard to persevere until we see that light.
This morning in my quiet time I read about Moses and chapter 11 in the book of Numbers. This was the passage given-
“And Moses said to the Lord, ‘Why are you treating me, your servant, so harshly? Have mercy on me! What did I do to desire the burn of all these people? Did I give birth to them? Did I bring them into the world? Why did you tell me to carry them in my arms like a mother carries a nursing baby? How can I carry them to the land you swore to give their ancestors? Where am I supposed to get meat for all these people? They keep whining to me, saying, ‘Give us meat to eat!'” – Numbers 11:11-13 (NLT)
To give a little context, the Israelites still have not entered the Promised Land. They are currently wandering in the desert and making Moses’ life pretty miserable. Instead of being thankful for being on their way to the place God has for them, the Israelites are too consumed with what they don’t have. So, Moses is frustrated and sharing his feelings with the Lord.
The first thing I really love about that passage is how direct and honest Moses is. The guy is just mad, annoyed, and over it! I think sometimes we feel like when we pray and talk with God we need to have our thoughts beautifully wrapped up to present to Him. But, I don’t really believe that’s what Jesus wants. I think He desires us to be real and raw because that is what comes with a deep and intimate relationship.
If you think about your relationship with your best friend- When you’re upset, do you tone down your feelings? Do you worry about being judged for having emotions (good or bad)? No- You’re real and honest. You’re upfront about being angry or sad or emotional.
In my opinion, our conversations with Jesus shouldn’t be any different. He desires to know the deepest parts of us and when we feel frustrated, He wants us to come to Him.
The second thing I think is very important in this chapter is that God not only wanted Moses to share the burden with Him, but also the people around him.
“Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Gather before me seventy men who are recognized as elders and leaders of Israel. Bring them to the Tabernacle to stand there with you. I will come down and talk to you there. I will take some of the Spirit that is upon you, and I will put the Spirit upon them also. They will bear the burden of the people along with you, so you will not have to carry it alone.'” Numbers 11:16-17 (NLT)
I don’t know why, but this just gets me. How marvelous is it that God gets it? He knows that we need Him, but He also recognizes that we need community. We need accountability partners, mentors, and friends to help us carry the burdens we have. Moses was a pretty impressive person and I would say had been through the ringer in his life. But, God knew he still would need others to help him through this frustrating time.
Taking this and applying it to our current state- I would encourage you to be real with God. If you’re scared or upset or mad or stressed- tell Him. Open yourself up to Him and invite Him to work in you to give you peace.
Secondly, don’t be afraid to need other people. Don’t be afraid to share your burdens and concerns whatever they may be. If Moses needed people and community- You do too. There will be an end to this very strange time we’re living in and I am choosing to believe we will be better people for it. But, in the mean time, it’s okay to not be okay. Be open and honest with yourself, Jesus, and the community He has given you.