Heaps of Sorrow, and a Song

“The people of Israel, the whole congregation, came into the wilderness of Zin… And Miriam died there and was buried there.

“Now there was no water for the congregation. They assembled themselves together against Moses and Aaron [and] quarreled with Moses and said, ‘Would that we had perished… before the Lord! Why have you brought the assembly into this wilderness, that we should die here..?’ Then Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly to the entrance of the tent of meeting and fell on their faces. And the glory of the Lord appeared to them, and the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Take the staff, and assemble the congregation,.. and tell the rock before their eyes to yield its water.’

“And Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock with his staff twice, and water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank…  And the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, ‘Because you did not believe in me, to uphold me as holy in the eyes of the people of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land that I have given them…’

“[Edom] said, ‘You shall not pass through.’ And Edom came out against them with a large army and with a strong force…

“And the Lord said to Moses and Aaron.., ‘Let Aaron be gathered to his people, for he shall not enter the land… And Aaron died there on the top of the mountain. Then Moses and Eleazar came down from the mountain.” Numbers 20:1,2-4,6-8a,11-12,20,23-24,28

Blow after blow, sorrow upon sorrow. And following these, the Canaanites attacked and took some captives, the Lord sent fiery serpents to quell more complaining, and the Amorites refused them passage and advanced against them. How much could Moses handle? Was there no end to the heartache and grief of loss, the disappointment at being banished from the promised land, the opposition within and without? Yet somewhere along the wilderness way, in the midst and weight of ruin, the Lord provided water, and a song. (Numbers 21:1,5-6,16-17,21-23; 1 Peter 5:10)

When we think we can bear no more, and there could not even be more pain to bear, God’s abiding presence brings supernatural refreshment. “Spring up, O well!—Sing to it!” What circumstances weigh heavy at present? Is there overwhelming sorrow, choking waves of disbelief, pain, or loss? No accounting of troubles can exceed the strength nor escape the love of our Lord. Our shoulders may be bending, our eyes too dim to hope, but nothing will change the steadfast love and mercy of our Lord Jesus. Would we look for His provision, and taste it, and be rejuvenated by it? His balm is exquisitely designed just for us, and should give rise to singing. (Psalm 103:8,11; Lamentations 3:22-23; Romans 8:31-39)

Maybe the way is personally clear and calm now, but not for a loved one. How can we tenderly introduce a melody of hope and light to them in their darkness? How can we come alongside and help share the weight of their burdens, emotionally, practically, and spiritually by earnest intercession? Where can we point out the beauty the Redeemer is crafting in their brokenness and ashes? (Isaiah 61:1-3)

Lord, awaken Your song in the midst of heartache and in me so Your love is magnified.

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