“The people were very thirsty and continued to complain to Moses. They said, ‘Why did you bring us out of Egypt? To kill us and our children and our livestock?”.

Ex 17:3 GNB

Sometimes people have so many problems that they don’t know which way to turn. And sometimes, no matter how hard they try, the problems – or some of them – seem to be insoluble. They try this and they try that but nothing seems to work. They tend to become more and more alarmed, increasingly anxious, and they feel desperate. Then the problems that don’t get solved seem to trigger off more problems and difficulties. The longer it goes on the more intractable it all seems to get.

When they got to Rephidim, a place in the desert, the Israelites were getting near to the end of their tether. Presumably it was an oasis – but then when they arrived there, there was no water. Nor was there any prospect of any. Once more they vented their frustration and anger on Moses. It was so bad that death loomed as a possibility.

The accumulation of problems, with no apparent end in sight, can drive a person to despair. And numerous problems, with the onset of despair and depression, can lead people to start thinking of suicide.

Christian believers will make their problems known to Christ in prayer. They should not expect to go through life without any. But Christ offers us his constant companionship so that when we feel as if we are nearing the end of our tether we can ask him to share the burden with us.

Sometimes he may lighten the load. More often he will give us more courage and greater endurance to see it through.


Lord, help me through my desert wanderings.