Lonely at the Top

"They began to speak against God and Moses. 'Why have you brought us out of Egypt to die here in the wilderness?' They complained. 'There is nothing to eat here and nothing to drink. And we hate this horrible manna!'" Numbers 21:5 NLT

If I thought it, I was wrong. No one ever said leading was easy or popular. I had been chosen as the leader of a local organization. Assuming the position required moving almost three hours away. Since my wife and I felt the Lord calling us there, we went. Things went well initially. Until I began changing some things. With the help of a few key leaders, we made some changes that would take the entity to new heights by making it more competitive and attractive. And it worked. More people began to join. People who would serve it well into the next generation. Then it happened. Grumbling. Complaining. The majority followed my lead and enjoyed the new growth and opportunities. Others remained but continually grumbled and complained. A few chose to leave. It got lonely at the top.

Moses knew how lonely the top could be. The job God offered him seemed attractive yet scary. Who wouldn't want to lead millions of people? Soon after he took the position, the grumbling and complaining began. Didn't like the route he took them down. Or the food he fed them. Or what he gave them to drink. On at least one occasion, they plotted to kill him.

In spite of his loneliness at the top, Moses demonstrated traits of a good leader. He was patient. The stubbornness of the people would have driven even the best man to drinking, but not Moses. He was focused on where he knew God wanted him to take the people. He traveled in that direction even thought the route was not the most pleasant one. He knew God's way was always better. When they complained, he continued to lead. He was also compassionate. He knew their rebellion would bring God's discipline-and it did in the form of poisonous snakes, but he interceded to God on their behalf when they repented. Moses loved the people even when they were unlovable.

When God calls you to lead, do it with focus, compassion, obedience, and patience.

Prayer: Father, thank You for the privilege of leading. May we do it with unconditional love.

Martin Wiles Hodges, South Carolina, USA

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