14 I am not able to carry all this people alone; the burden is too heavy for me. 15 If you will treat me like this, kill me at once, if I find favor in your sight, that I may not see my wretchedness.”
Numbers 11:14-15 ESV
I remember the old Staples commercials that had the “easy button” that you could magically push to have Staples take care of all the logistics around the office at a great price. Most of us would love to have a button like that which says, “Help me.” You could hit in during difficult conversations, on a bad day, or when are worn out, but your schedule reminds you that rest there is no rest for the weary.
In this story from scripture Moses is traveling across the dessert with the recently freed from slavery Israelites. You would think after being freed from 400 years of slavery, on their way to the Promised Land from God, that the mood would be happy, chipper and filled with excitement. Instead the people complain. And they complain a lot. In fact they complain about almost everything. And Moses, as their leader, is just sick of it and you probably get it. You have experienced this, complaints are exhausting, and people in general can be tiring to work with, no matter the circumstances. What Moses complains most about is having to deal with these people ALONE. And God goes onto remind Him that there are a number of gifted people around him to help (God assigns 70).
It made me begin to think of a number of conversations I have had the last few weeks. Most of them sound like Moses: HELP ME. They are tired from work, busyness, and emotionally spent to name a few. And in those moments we tend to cry to God for help. As I read this I began to wonder, does God already have people around me, who in moments of need can walk with me, prayerfully support me, or carry burdens that I was never meant to carry? And if I don’t have people like that, is it because I just am not cultivating or seeking them out?
When God creates Adam in scripture he makes it clear quickly that it is not good that Adam is alone. God creates Eve, a helper for Adam, a partner, a cohort. God never created us to live life on our own. We were created to be in community together, and to lean into the God of the universe for strength and wisdom each day. Like Moses in those moments of need, we are not supposed to dig deep into ourselves to find something more, but look to the God who created us, and the support that he has surrounded us with to take on the challenges that we face daily.