Nancy Kay Grace

Seeing Grace Everyday

Stress Management in the Desert: Moses

Stress Management in the Desert: Moses

Stress management has been around since biblical times. It isn’t a new idea created in the 21st century, although there are different stressors in our lives today.

In the Bible we can learn how different people dealt with tough situations.

The more I study the life of Moses, the more I appreciate his perseverance and faith.

He had many flaws, but exhibited boldness in approaching God.

The passage in Numbers 20:2-7 shows how Moses dealt with stress. The Israelites had been in the desert for a long time. They followed Moses and had seen God deliver them and provide for them in miraculous ways. At the beginning of Numbers 20, Miriam died. She had been with them since leaving Egypt. Moses and Aaron grieve the loss of their sister. In the very next verse, the Israelites grumble in opposition to Moses. They complain, regretting their departure from the slavery of Egypt, idealizing the “good old days.”

They griped “Why did you bring up out of Egypt to this terrible place? It has no grain or figs, grapevines or pomegranates. And there is no water to drink!” (Numbers 20: 4-5 NIV)

The problems had been growing—wandering in the desert, no water, the death of Miriam—and they confront Moses and Aaron with their complaint list.

The Israelites looked only at their situation, not remembering how God had provided for them in the past. They were insensitive to Moses’ grief. They left God out of the their situation and drew the wrong conclusions, thinking it was better back in Egypt as slaves.

Moses and Aaron responded differently.

They left the people and went to the entrance of Tent of Meeting and fell facedown.

Moses fell facedown.Numbers 20:6 Stress management

Moses and Aaron demonstrate a principle of stress management.

They looked to God instead of looking at the problems. They showed awe and reverence of God in the middle of difficulty.

Face down. Silent. Seeking God.

The action of falling facedown indicates humility, prayer, and worship. Moses had previously exhibited this posture before God.

The result? The glory of the Lord appeared to them.

God heard him. He gave Moses new direction. (Unfortunately, Moses did not follow it as God instructed.)

Moses demonstrated a principle of stress management through showing awe and reverence of God in the middle of difficulty.

Face down. Silent. Seeking God.

God promises his strength when we feel deserted. Just like he did for Moses, he’ll do the for us same today.

When I feel overwhelmed, like I’m in a desert with too many problems, I have the tendency to be like the Israelites—griping, blaming, and insensitive to others. My focus is often on the size of my problems and not on the size of my God.

I’d rather be like Moses and seek the Lord.

Ps 105:4 Stress management

Are you in the desert? Is it easier to turn to anything else besides God and complain?

A better solution for stress management is to turn toward the Lord instead of the problems.

Listen for his still, small voice.

“Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.”  Psalm 105:4 NIV


About Nancy Kay Grace

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