2. Wilderness Manual–The Elders (11)

How many of us have cried to God, “Just kill me now.” I say us because you are not alone in this. For me it was when my heart was broken, and a friend told me that he had a premonition I was going to die. Despairing of life is not uncommon in this stage. If that’s you, hang in there. Help is on the way, and you’ve still got a long way to go through this wilderness.

Principle: Moses heard the people complaining, and he cried out to God “I alone am not able to carry all this people, because it is too burdensome for me. So if You are going to deal thus with me, please kill me at once, if I have found favor in Your sight, and do not let me see my wretchedness.” ~Numbers 11:14-15

God answered him. He gave him 70 elders to help him. For a while I thought that the wilderness was meant to be largely gone through alone, but I now see that it can be as large or as small a group as God wishes it to be. Moses cried out for someone to go through the wilderness helping him, and so God did. He gave him 70 others to support him. In the wilderness, he learned He needed God’s help. It was too much for him. He couldn’t quit. He was doing God’s will, and it was too much for him. So, God provided a group of people to help him where he was lacking. Community at its finest. It starts though with a cry for help to God.

Application: Be honest with God, and yourself. God has designed you to be a part of a group, not just on your own. God’s provision may come in the form of people to share the wilderness journey with you. This is part of His teaching you humility, and your design as a part of a group of other people working together. Share the load with them. This is well-pleasing in God’s sight.

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Before the Ships Came to Take Them Inland

His kindness never bade them stay for long.
Their welcome was not worn by his being weary.
Instead he gave them hope with every stroke
Though sinking himself into the darkness where they trembled.

The master fixed his own light house
Securely upon truth-rocks carpeted with love
Treasures of the deep rose to see the light
Even if only for a moment to feel the beams of hope it gave.

The island coasted by a sea of trouble
Bid ships on their way pass merrily, warily by
They did not need his light except to know
His rocks nearby could sink them or capsize

The sea creatures knew this lighthouse well
The mermaids frequented the rocks nearby
He gave them music and wonder and joy
And they were gladdened by this caring reminder of sunlight.

Only after basking for a little while, to dive at length
Far from the reaches of his beams of grace
Down into the hole which they could not escape
Where their dark safety was promised in frigid under-water caves

The lighthouse sometimes guided the merpeople
To cast off their fins and scales from their lives
And walk on two legs on the island of Hope
But they even then did not stay long,

Before the ships came by to take them inland.

Ships with sails and steam and steering wheels
Ships that carried cargoes precious to cross the bar
Ships that wheeled their world-wide way
Ships that felt the light, but could not touch the house

The house that kept its lenses burning bright
The house that ocean brine had crusted green
The house that learned the value of its light
By staying on that lonely island of hope.

The island small but never sinking
The island seeing all and never blinking
The island choosing good and not despairing
The island swept by waves of tears and caring.

O that dark clouds may part and let sunshine come out
So the hope of many wanderers may be refreshed
By the light and the warmth of the sun dancing on calm seas
Which is the only comfort this light-bearing soul breathes!

And yet, one day, the hope remains
That the island of hope may have room for two
For two houses to shine yea in two-streamed directions
Kept warm by the fire of the other’s undivided heart.

For now the island of hope is shadowed by grey clouds
The mockery of lightning’s torturous and cold subtlety.
Who will warm the lighthouse and scrub him clean
So the thunder rolling will not cause his own brick to quake?