Are We Crying Over Meat and Manna?
By Kathryn Taylor
So often, we find ourselves grumbling and complaining about the frustrations of the life we are living. We mothers had hopes and dreams of what our family would be like. When we adopted, decided to foster children, or blended families in a re-marriage, we did it with high hopes. We have somehow taken within ourselves that there will be success and blessings when we choose to do things that are morally right and good. We become angry and disappointed when things turn out poorly or never seem to get better. That is how it was for the Israelites after leaving a life of slavery in Egypt.
For decades, the Israelites prayed and prayed for deliverance from their bondage. Finally, God answers their prayers and sends them Moses. Moses was chosen by God to lead God’s people from Egypt. However, for Moses and the people, reality was far different from what they expected freedom to be. They faced hardships and challenges that embittered them all.
The similarities between them and us are easy to spot. Our RAD children and the Israelites both beg to go back to their bondage… back to where they were wounded. They long for the familiar… they forget about the bondage and pain they endured… all so that they don’t have to trust God and endure hardship to get to the Promised land. And we mothers are like Moses… We question God over His motives, His call on our lives, the job He has given us to do. We feel weak and ill-equipped to get such rebellious charges to comply and be at peace.
From the Bible, in Numbers, chapter 11, the Israelites are grumbling once again… They are tired of the Manna that God has been providing from Heaven. They beg for meat… they long once again to be back in Egypt and they blame Moses for all their misery…..(sound familiar?)
Numbers 11:10-15 tells of their grumbling and Moses going to God with his frustrations…
Moses heard all the families standing in front of their tents weeping, and the LORD became extremely angry. Moses was also very aggravated. And Moses said to the LORD, "Why are you treating me, your servant, so miserably? What did I do to deserve the burden of a people like this? Are they my children? Am I their father? Is that why you have told me to carry them in my arms – like a nurse carries a baby – to the land you swore to give their ancestors? Where am I supposed to get meat for all these people? They keep complaining and saying, 'Give us meat!' I can't carry all these people by myself! The load is far too heavy! I'd rather you killed me than treat me like this. Please spare me this misery!"
Isn’t this us? Don’t we get so angry with our rebellious kids? Don’t we question God about what He wants of us and why He’s letting these things happen in our lives? I know I have personally said all those statements above…
The relationship between God, Moses, and His people are so incredibly similar to our lives and circumstances that it makes me want to jump and shout. The answers are in God’s Word! If the arguments and feelings are there, then so are the answers!! You know… It took forty years for the Israelites to get to the Promised Land… Moses never got to enter the Promised land… And God is still on the throne!! So, why do we feel hopeless after a few years of little success? Even though we may never get to the Promised Land with our children (being in relationship with love and respect), we can find peace… we can find love for our children. and find closeness to God. Remember, it was Moses on the mount of transfiguration with Jesus during His last days!!! That mount resides in the Promised Land! Our worth and value to God is not dependent on our children’s healing. It is dependent on our obedience to God.
All of us mothers were created for a special time and place. Some mothers never bear children and grieve empty arms. Some have to spend their days in hospitals instead of playgrounds because their children have terminal illnesses. And, some live in third world countries crying out to God wondering why they must watch their children starve to death because of their poverty. Us women here… our lot in life is dealing with emotionally wounded, rebellious, angry children. It is not fun. It is hard work. Not many understand what we are going through. But we understand each other, because we walk the same path… We live in a fallen world. Just like the heroes in God’s word, we too will face adversity and hardships. It is not a sign of God punishing us or ignoring us, it is a test of our love and obedience to Him. Will we persevere? Will we bear our cross? Will we trust God above all?
I challenge us to get into God’s word. Study from the Exodus of the Jews to the entering of the Promised Land. It is symbolic of our life’s journey. It helps us to understand authority in our lives and obedience to our God and how we can intercede in the lives of our children as Moses interceded in the lives of the Israelites.
Food for thought….Did you ever stop to think that Moses was probably the most likely child to be RAD in the Bible?