Friday, May 24, 2019

Numbers 11:14-17 -- On Being Overwhelmed

"I am not able to bear all this people alone, because it is too heavy for me.
And if thou deal thus with me, kill me, I pray thee, out of hand, if I have found favour in thy sight; and let me not see my wretchedness.
And the Lord said unto Moses, Gather unto me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom thou knowest to be the elders of the people, and officers over them; and bring them unto the tabernacle of the congregation, that they may stand there with thee.
And I will come down and talk with thee there: and I will take of the spirit which is upon thee, and will put it upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with thee, that thou bear it not thyself alone."
Numbers 11:14-17

Since we talked yesterday about overcoming difficult things, I thought it would be good to remind ourselves today that sometimes we also have to let things go.  It can't always be us "toughing it out" and God doesn't just want us to endure, he wants us to endure "well" and to learn happiness now (Mormon 9:14).  It isn't just a reward post-suffering.

Moses had a habit of taking on too much.  His father-in-law Jethro had previously counseled him, saying "this thing is too heavy for thee" (Exodus 18:18) when he was trying to be a judge for all the people alone.  In this case, perhaps remembering that past experience, he again realizes that he is trying to take on too much.  He feels stressed and overwhelmed with everyone complaining and not being able to solve their problems, and he even goes so far as to ask God to kill him rather than have to deal with it anymore. 

The "kill me" thing might seem dramatic to us, but that is probably because we are in a healthy headspace, reading this.  We've probably all been in an unhealthy headspace, so we can also understand getting to that point and feeling like we just can't bear it anymore.  In this situation, God also understands that Moses is overwhelmed, and he offers solutions.  He gives Moses seventy people to help him (probably where we got the quorum of seventy idea), and he also gives the congregation what they were asking for... but that's a whole other story. :)

God doesn't want us to be overwhelmed.  He will help us if we go to him.  It might mean that we, like Moses, have to learn to trust and rely on the people around us.  It might mean that we need to stop worrying about things that we can't control, or one of many other lessons, but God will help us with whatever it is.  Today, let's go to him with our problems and then listen and take action when he offers us solutions.

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