Are you feeling less stressed lately? American stress is down for the first time in years. The average stress-level was 5.2 on a ten point scale in 2011, right when we were in the middle of a recession. So what is going on here? The American Psychological Association says it isn’t because we have any less pressure. In fact we are dealing with more than ever. They believe that we are learning to better cope with our pressure-packed culture. The public have more or less accepted it as a fact of life, nothing new or novel and therefore worthy of complaint or attention. On the other hand, maybe more of us are listening to Jesus who teaches us: “do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” This is Just-A-Minute
Numbers chapter 20 records a lesson that most Bible students are familiar with. The heart of the lesson revolves around Moses and his emotions that got the better of him at the rock in Kadesh, along with the consequences that followed. I remembered a lot about Numbers 20, but I didn’t remember everything.
As I sat down to reread this chapter I remembered clearly the immense pressure that this great leader was under. I remembered that the people had gathered against him again. I remembered that they were complaining about his leadership again. I remembered that their hearts were looking back on all of their “fond memories” back in Egypt again. I remembered Moses cracking…metaphorically with his anger and literally with the stick. I remembered the heart breaking consequence of Moses’ decision to hit the rock instead of speaking to it.
One thing that I didn’t remember about Numbers 20 was how the chapter began! The chapter begins with the passing of Moses’ sister. When I read that, it caused me to stop and think. When I read that, it caused me to have more sympathy for Moses. When I read that, it caused me to wonder if the loss of Miriam had anything to do with Moses’ shorter than normal fuse at this stage in his life.
I’m not saying that Miriam’s death is an excuse for what happened in Kadesh . I’m just saying that sometimes the pressures of life build up. I’m just saying that when the “straws” of life build up, we need to be careful that we don’t let them break what we may not be able to put back together. While we will probably never find ourselves in the same sandals as Moses when it comes to leading a nation, we can probably all relate to having “straws” that pile up in life.
What do you think?
When we give our lives to Christ, we give Him more than our spiritual lives. He wants everything so we need a more holistic approach to our Christian walk.
Life is a matter of building. Each of us has the opportunity to build something—a secure family, a good reputation, a career, a relationship to God. But some of those things can disappear almost overnight due to financial losses, natural disasters and other unforeseen difficulties.
What are we to do? Daniel Webster offered excellent advice, saying,
“If we work on marble it will perish. If we work on brass, time will efface it. If we rear temples, they will crumble to dust. But if we work on men’s immortal minds, if we imbue them with high principles, with just fear of God and love of their fellow-men, we engrave on those tablets something which time cannot efface, and which will brighten and brighten to all eternity.[ Morning Glory, July 3, 1993]
(Mat 22:37) Jesus said to him, ” ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’
(Mat 22:38) “This is the first and great commandment.
(Mat 22:39) “And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’
(Mat 22:40) “On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
“Thoughts For Today to Brighten Your Day” by Glenn Hitchcock
In Scripture we learn the value of “hanging on.” As the Chritians during the days of the first century struggled mightily, the Holy Spirit gave words of encouragment. He said to look unto Jesus (Hebrews 12:1-2) and remember that our affliction, trial is not the same that many endure then. If they endured under such circumstance, how shall we not? The Lord, when called upon to stand stall in a “rail-road” occasion, look unto Him that judges all, shall we look at something else?
Christ was busy while on earth, even to the point of depriving Himself (Matthew 8:20). He lost friends and followers (John 6:66-67; Matthew 26:31). He was constantly hounded and threatened (Matthew 22:15; John 5:18). He was rejected by family and neighbors (Mark 6:4-5). Jesus knew something about stress. (Follow this link to read more…)