Saturday, March 24, 2012

Brief reflection on Numbers 11:4-6

Brethren, last Wednesday’s  biblical reading from the Office of Readings (IV Wednesday of Lent) included these words from Numbers 11:4-6:

The foreign elements among them were so greedy for meat that even the Israelites lamented again, “Would that we had meat for food! We remember the fish we used to eat without cost in Egypt, and the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic. But now we are famished; we see nothing before us but this manna.”

When Moses heard the people, family after family, crying at the entrance of their tents, so that the Lord became very angry, he was grieved. “Why do you treat your servant so badly?” Moses asked the Lord. “Why are you so displeased with me that you burden me with all this people? Was it I who conceived all this people? or was it I who gave them birth, that you tell me to carry them at my bosom, like a foster father carrying an infant, to the land you have promised under oath to their fathers? Where can I get meat to give to all this people? For they are crying to me, ‘Give us meat for our food.’ I cannot carry all this people by myself, for they are too heavy for me. 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.”

I’ve always find it amazing the tremendous familiarity with which Moses always addressed God. By doing so, he set an example to us. I mean, haven’t you ever felt so tired, so fed up that you said to God “I can’t stand it any more, please kill me”? Then  you felt guilty. Don’t! We can address God in this fashion. God understands where you’re coming from. It is in that precise moment that He asks you to trust Him, to understand that He is in control, and that He is carrying you on his shoulder through the bitterness of life.

It is very comforting that we are allowed to address God in complete familiarity. He understands us better than we understand ourselves, for He can see the deepest recesses of our hearts and our innermost desires. Verbalizing our needs to Him turns us into active cooperators of his designs and also unleashes the power of His grace in our lives.

When darkness appears to surround you, turn to God our Father with complete openness. He will not be offended, He will cradle you in His arms instead.