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When overwhelmed…


So somewhere I took notes from a conference that suggested when you are overwhelmed, you should look at Numbers 11.

I think the speaker was referring to the passage towards the end when Moses gets advice from his father-in-law about delegation.

But sometimes God speaks a different word in different seasons…always truth…but always what I need to hear.

Because this week I turned to Numbers 11 seeking help for feeling overwhelmed.

And I found some wisdom that wasn’t at all what that speaker was going for the day I penned those notes.

Instead I noticed some things in the opening verses of Chapter 11.

I notice that, after setting an entire nation free from slavery in one of the most dramatic rescue missions ever recorded…that included parting a sea while thousands walked across on dry land and then watched as the Egyptian army perished before their eyes…the people started …. complaining.

I notice that God doesn’t like complaining.

At all.

I notice that the complaining started with outsiders but infiltrated into the group known as “God’s people, Israel”.

I notice that it started with grumbling…and moved to complaining…and then morphed into intense craving.

And all of a sudden, freedom and God’s provision and a little miracle called manna falling from the sky every day wasn’t good enough.

With rose-colored glasses firmly in place, it says the people whined to Moses about all the delicious choices they had available back there in Egypt.

And I am kind of thinking…uhm…have you all forgotten about the bricks? And the quota? And no straw provided? The baby boys all killed…any of that ringing a bell?

But isn’t that what I do?

Don’t I forget sometimes as I listen to the world clamoring for something they think God has cheated us out of? Don’t I sometimes fall into the cycle of grumbling and then complaining, forgetting that this is the pathway to the intense cravings that come at a high price.

So maybe one answer to feeling overwhelmed is to remember to give thanks.

As foreign and sappy and un-modern as it sounds: to count my blessings.

One by one.

To remember and recount all the seas the Lord has parted for me….all the miracles He has done in my life…maybe remember the yoke that was once on me…

Maybe the most radical thing I can do in the face of the overwhelming issues of life is to simply live a life of gratitude. IMG_2864

O give thanks to the LORD,

call upon His name;

Make known His deeds among the peoples.  

1 Chronicles 16:8



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