18th Week in Ordinary Time
If this is the way you will deal with me, then please do me the favor of killing me at once, so that I need no longer face this distress. (Numbers 11:15)
If you were to read this quote on its own and tried to guess who said it, chances are you wouldn’t think it was Moses. He was a holy hero of the Old Testament; he received the Ten Commandments and saw God face-to-face. He would never dare to speak so disrespectfully to the Lord! But don’t forget, Moses was called a “friend” of God (Exodus 33:11). And with friends, you feel free to speak your mind.
Moses showed no pretense. He didn’t put on an act. So when the people were complaining and Moses was at the end of his rope, he told God so. He understood God knew him inside and out, so what was the point of putting on a façade? Moses knew he couldn’t handle the people’s problems himself. So he confidently poured out his feelings to God, as he would to any friend. And because he spoke so freely, God was able to help him.
Now, that doesn’t mean we should spend all of our prayer time complaining or rehashing the negative! One good way to find that “sweet spot” between honesty and whining is to consider Psalm 13. David is frustrated with God, feeling cut off from the Lord; but in the end, he finishes with a statement of faith: “How long, Lord? Will you utterly forget me? … But I trust in your mercy. Grant my heart joy in your salvation” (Psalm 13:1, 6). Even if you feel that your faith is weak, tell the Lord that you still believe in him. Just think how pleased he is when you lean on him, even in the midst of struggle!
So if you’re frustrated, let God know. If you’re annoyed, don’t try to hide it from him. If you’re happy, share your joy. But if you’re at the end of your rope, tell him. Let go, and trust him to catch you! No matter what your situation is, your best friend listens patiently as you sift through the contents of your heart.
“Thank you, heavenly Father, for your faithfulness, as I sit with you and pour out my heart.”~WAU