When struggling, the instinct for a lot of people (myself included) is to bemoan the troublesome circumstance and trudge through the days in a muddle of frustration and dissatisfaction. Neither tend to bring peace. This passage presents us with classic scene of the Israelites struggling with faith and obedience while Moses struggles with frustration in his leadership role. The Israelites spent countless hours venting to one another about their perceived lack of provisions. Did they take time to remember all of the times God had provided for them? To be grateful for the provisions He was supplying? To look beyond their own desires? No. Instead they complained. The posture of their heart was not turned toward the God who is always faithful, but rather it was turned inward, selfishly focused on what they wished they had. They had forgotten that God’s plan is always best. In the end, their choices during the struggle led them into disobedience and ultimately consequences from the Lord.
However, the Israelites weren’t the only ones struggling. Moses was dealing with his own attitude, his burden of leadership, and his exhaustion. The difference we see in his struggle is the choice he made in the way he chose to deal with it. Instead of running to Aaron to vent or sitting in bitterness, he went straight to his faithful God. He was brutally honest with God about his struggles and pleaded for help and relief. God heard Moses and eased his burden. Moses knew that he was called to lead the people for God’s glory, but he also knew that he couldn’t do it alone. He understood that his provision was to come from the One who had called him. He knew that only God had the power to refresh his spirit and lift his burden. And he knew that seeking God, no matter the outcome, would always be best.
So take a minute to ponder with me about our own tendencies. Do we react to struggles like the Israelites, fussing about in discontent? Or do we respond to struggles like Moses, by going straight to our Provider for sustenance and guidance through the trial? Do we seek our own comfort or God’s glory? Are our hearts postured toward God or ourselves?