Moses Meltdown

By Steve Marquez

Traveling along the rocky road of a cancer patient brings incredible highs and devastating lows. It is inevitable that along the way you meet people who happen to be going in the same direction. Relationships are developed that make the travel a little lighter. Then, one by one, they are called to their eternal home. Their wandering is complete. It is a great joy for them and a blow to us who cherished their friendship.

There are turns along this highway, a scan, a doctor’s appointment that doesn’t go quite the way it should, and darkness takes over. People ask how I am able to overcome and even put a smile on my face when things are so difficult. They say that my wife and I are such great examples. But they don’t see the times that I am in tears and want to give up.

Moses felt that way. He was the reluctant champion of the children of Israel as he exclaimed to Pharaoh, “Let my people go!” Pharaoh responded by making life more difficult for the Hebrew slaves. Moses went before God and asked why he would call him to make life more difficult for those who were already oppressed. Eventually, God set the people free only to see them commit the sin of unbelief and, for forty years they wandered aimlessly through the desert. During that time, Moses would hear the murmuring and complaining of the people over and over and over again. It was too much for him. He broke down. 

“I am not able to carry all this people alone; the burden is too heavy for me.”

Numbers 11:14, ESV

There comes a time when we all reach a tipping point. We have tried to maintain the balance. Ruin on one side, glory on the other; but then we tip and fall. We can’t handle that burden and, we are at our wits end; exactly where God wants us to be. The time must come when we realize we can not hold things together on our own. We need strength above what we can muster, to find it, we must give up. Jesus said,

“For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”

Matthew 16:25, ESV

This hope is what puts a smile on my face after the initial shock of a new diagnosis; or an existing painful medical issue that must be dealt with by either new medication or surgery. When I have a Moses’ Meltdown, I must remember where my strength comes from.

“He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”

Isaiah 40:29–31, ESV

Waiting for God is a euphemism for a life devoted to him. Physical strength doesn’t matter. Weakness, sickness, disease? They do not matter. When we devote ourselves to God, he devotes himself to us and we find the strength we have been looking for.

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Matthew 11:28–30, ESV

Do you have a huge burden to carry? Jesus says, “Come.” Are you suffering the painful loss of a loved one and you are overwhelmed? Jesus says, “Come.” Did a doctor tell you that you have terminal Stage4 cancer? Jesus says, “Come.” If we come to him, we will find rest for our souls. Oh, how we need rest. Do you feel his gentle heart as he speaks peace to you now?

God loves you even though you are suffering. He has his reasons for allowing you to go through the pain. Perhaps it is because he wants to show his strength in your weakness. Fall on him if you can not stand. He will lift you up.

A Man’s Hand

There must have been some disappointment in the servant of Elijah. If not, perhaps some doubt. The prophet he served said there would be rain. This was exciting news because the country was suffering from a terrible drought. It would be nice to be able to grow crops and take a bath or drink a tall glass of cold water. 


Then Elijah said to Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink; for there is the sound of abundance of rain.” So Ahab went up to eat and drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; then he bowed down on the ground, and put his face between his knees, and said to his servant, “Go up now, look toward the sea.” So he went up and looked, and said, “There is nothing.” And seven times he said, “Go again.”

1 Kings 18:41–43, NKJV

I am sure cattle were suffering and therefore a meat shortage meant no backyard grilling. But the prophet had heard from God that this would all be over soon. 

When we hear such news, we could either be encouraged and excited or live in disbelief. They had been disappointed. After all, they were living in a drought. Would God finally open up the windows of heaven and give them rain? 

It does take faith. Faith is not self-confidence, although it may appear that way to others. It is not positive thinking, which it can be mistaken for. Faith is a belief that God exists and that He desires to help those who call upon His name. As a person of “faith”, I do not assert my own will and tell myself that it is God speaking, but I listen for God’s “still, small voice”. How can I discern the difference between the “Voice” and presumption? Because my voice is mostly concerned about me. I must learn to hear myself, truly so that I know when the authentic voice of God speaks to my heart. That voice is completely consistent with what He says in Holy Scripture. There is a sweet spot that when I know, I know. 

It takes a while to get to know someone. Even if they want the relationship as bad as you do. We must give and take. We must try not to dominate the conversation, nor be the silent one. But we must interact or, as my wife would say, hit the tennis ball back. When we do, it is surprising how well we get to know someone and how easily the conversation goes. It is the same way with God. When we do this, we are able to hear his voice, know it is Him, and believe that what He has said will come to pass. 

Well, that is the conversation Elijah had with God. They talked back and forth often. I am sure Elijah could discern that God was ready to lift the drought, so he asked. He believes that God would do it. 

Then it came to pass the seventh time, that he said, “There is a cloud, as small as a man’s hand, rising out of the sea!” So he said, “Go up, say to Ahab, ‘Prepare your chariot, and go down before the rain stops you.’ ”

1 Kings 18:44, NKJV

It took seven times to see a cloud as small as a man’s hand. Elijah got so excited that he did what no weatherman would do—he gave the forecast from a small cloud—“rain’s a-comin’” There would be a huge storm that would end the drought for good. 

Now it happened in the meantime that the sky became black with clouds and wind, and there was a heavy rain. So Ahab rode away and went to Jezreel.

1 Kings 18:45, NKJV

It happened all because of a relationship. Some people want God to be a genie of sorts to grant all their wishes when they say the right words of “faith”. Others are so stand-off-ish that they dare not ask God for a thing because, in their estimation, God doesn’t answer with miracles anymore. The truth is, both need a deeper, more intimate relationship with Jesus. In fact, we all do. 

I am not Elijah. I am Steve. I am still getting to know God, even though He knows me. When I seek Him, I’ll find Him, that’s what He said. I am still seeking and He is still revealing more and more of Himself in this relationship we have. Jesus made this possible for all. We can all be in that sort of relationship with God. In intimacy comes more intimacy. When we get to know God so well, when we ask, we receive. Not because of some wish fulfillment, but because we are able to discern his voice and will and when we want what God wants, we get what we want. 

Blessings to you! If you do not know Jesus, you can have this kind of relationship. All you have to do is to start the conversation. We call that prayer. You tell him you are ready to stop running and you are ready to stop your life of sin with His help and you believe that He exists. But even more so you want that relationship where there is a conversation between you and Him, knowing He is your master and teacher, being willing to do what He wants as He reveals it. That’s it! In the name of Jesus, you are in the family of God. Keep listening for His voice through the Bible. Get into a Bible-teaching church and begin to get to know your brothers and sisters in this family. Remember, you are loved! 

The Lord Has Kept Me Alive

Caleb was a man on a mission. Along with his compatriot, Joshua, he wanted to take the land immediately, when Moses was still alive. But now, it was forty-five years later. Surely he was too weak, as an eighty-five-year-old man to fight, right? Absolutely not. He was the same.

“And now, behold, the Lord has kept me alive, as He said, these forty-five years, ever since the Lord spoke this word to Moses while Israel wandered in the wilderness; and now, here I am this day, eighty-five years old. As yet I am as strong this day as on the day that Moses sent me; just as my strength was then, so now is my strength for war, both for going out and for coming in.“

Joshua 14:10–11 NKJV

He never lost heart, which meant that he never lost his zeal for the promise of God. He knew that God would be faithful and would fulfill his promise to Caleb and that Caleb would possess the land. He never lost heart.

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory…”

2 Corinthians 4:16–17 NKJV

We fight the spiritual battle like Caleb. We take ground and refuse to give it up. If we need help, we ask for it, but we keep our eye on the prize.

The goal is to be the means by which the Spirit uses to free as many hearts as possible before we hear the trumpet sound or are called home a little early. Looking forward to that day; looking forward to that rest.

But not yet.