God meets us where we are—in the human condition.
“For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust” (Psalm 103:14 NKJV).
“One may go a long way after one is tired.” ~French Proverb
I enjoy reading Scripture. I remember reading Genesis when, though I knew exactly what was going to happen, I couldn’t put the book down.
The other week I was reading the Book of Numbers. But Numbers was difficult. Quails given in wrath, sedition of Miriam and Aaron (siblings of Moses), Miriam struck with leprosy, the report of the 12 spies (princes in Israel: VIPs), the beginning of the 40 years’ wandering in the wilderness, the rebellion of Korah (a Levite, first cousin to Moses), Moses complaining to God, Aaron’s rod budding (God giving him a miracle so he‘d look important), the institution of tithing, the ordinance of the red heifer, the incident at Kadesh Barnea, where Moses struck the rock instead of speaking to it, the death of Miriam, the defrocking and execution of Aaron, the brazen serpent, Balaam hired to curse Israel, the laws of inheritance, the journey, the arrival and taking of the Land, and, last, Moses denied entrance. The book was so intense I could take it only a few chapters at a time.
I kept feeling Moses’ pain. He was so tired of putting up with that bunch! At one point he told God, “Kill me … if I have found favor in Your sight; and let me not see my wretchedness” (Numbers 11:15). He wanted out.
By the time Moses saw the Promised Land, Aaron and Miriam were dead. Except for Joshua and Caleb, everyone he’d known back in Egypt was dead. I don’t think he much cared about an earthly future or that God was denying him entrance to an earthly inheritance. All he cared about was that he was laying down his robe and his rod and getting some rest. What a relief!
Today we who are old feel much the same way. “For we who have believed do enter into rest … There remains therefore a rest to the people of God” (Hebrews 4:3, 9). To us who are tired of living and ache all over, a long rest sounds good. Earthly things don’t matter anymore. “Here today, gone tomorrow.” Now all we care about is moving on.
“How will people believe us when we talk about our hope if it does not wean us from excessive devotion to the things around us?” ~FB Meyer
Adoniram Judson died at sea. When he saw death coming, he left this testimony: “I go with the gladness of a boy bounding home from school.”
Lord, when [You see] that my work is done,
Let me not linger on,
With failing power,
Adown the weary hours,—
A workless worker in a world of work.
But, with a word,
Just bid me home,
And I will come
Yes, right gladly
Will I come. ~John Oxenham, “After Work”
Copyright © 2014 Alexandra Lee