TUESDAY, FIFTH WEEK OF LENT
Worn Out by the Journey
From Mount Hor they set out by the way to the Red Sea, to go around the
land of Edom; but with their patience worn out by the journey, the people complained against God and against Moses, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and
we detest this miserable food.” —Numbers 21:4-5
In this passage, the Israelites had escaped slavery in Egypt and thought they were headed quickly for the Promised Land where they would settle in peace with plenty to eat. Little did they know that escaping from slavery would not make their lives smooth and easy instantaneously. The Israelites had a much longer road in front of them than they imagined. They had 40 years in the wilderness before they reached the Promised Land, and for much of that time, food and water were scarce. Some of them never made it to their new land. Is it surprising then that they had periods of impatience and complaining against God and their leader, Moses?
So, if you are worn out now, impatient with government leaders, and you find yourself complaining to God about this wilderness time, you are not alone. You are in good company because millions of our ancestors in faith have had their patience worn thin during challenging times. Like them, may we come to recognize that all our normal, human emotions are permissible before God and that God will not abandon us, even if we complain about the food God provides.
Turning to God as if to a friend, be as open and honest as possible about what you are feeling and thinking now. Then allow some quiet to see how God wants to respond.