You know how they say mistakes are not so bad? That if you don’t make mistakes you won’t make anything? Well, it’s not a universally applicable law. It’s not everyone that can get away with anything, not everyone that gets pardoned and restored to full glory, and if you don’t believe me, ask Miriam. “Miriam who?” Exactly! Most people don’t even remember who Miriam was in the Bible, or some just remember her as the lady who gossipped. Let’s talk about Miriam..
Miriam was the older sister of big boy Moses; but for Miriam Moses probably would have ended his leadership career at the bottom of the Nile River at the age of three months! Miriam was the sister who stood watch over him in the floating crib by the side of the Nile. She it was who watched patiently to ensure he came to no harm while waiting for destiny to arrive. I believe she must have sang lullabies as she waited by the riverbank and she would have prayed a mile-a-minute that the right person would come and quickly too. Imagine with me for a moment if it was the Palace Police that arrived that spot and found baby Moses! History would have been skewered forever! So Miriam stayed by that basket that held the deliverance of Israel; she did it, not because she knew the significance of what it held but because this was baby brother and he must be given a chance to live.
Miriam’s life was in danger too; she could have been arrested and turned over to the authorities but it was a risk she was prepared to take, she had to take it so that little brother would live and not die unsung, unknown. So she took the risk and waited, until destiny came calling as she had prayed it would. And when it showed up she was right there to make the right suggestions at the right time. She gave mother and son the chance to live together again and to bond forever. If Miriam had not been there to suggest a Hebrew nurse, who knows, Moses might have been suckled on an Egyptian bosom and history as we know it might have been different. Yes, she was definitely a destiny-deciding factor in the life of Moses.
Fast forward to almost a hundred years later in the wilderness; victory had been won and the Egyptians had become shark meal in the Red Sea, this same Miriam, no longer a little girl but an old lady, led the cheerleading squad as they sang praises to God most high for their Nation’s deliverance. She was the songstress, the composer and worshipper rolled into one. One can only imagine the joy and pride as she sang praises, first for the deliverance, and for the hands through which it came; the hands of baby brother Moses. Can you imagine with me the thoughts that passed through her head? The sense of pride and accomplishment she must have felt? Knowing that she was pivotal to it all?
But then the wilderness crept in; slowly, assiduously, getting to everybody, and unfortunately including Miriam. And she fell for it. She felt unnoticed, unloved, unappreciated, undervalued. She felt she should have been up there, alongside Moses and the big boys, directing the affairs of the nascent nation. After all, if it were not for her where would celebrity Moses be? And she voiced her thoughts in gossip, in anger, in resentment and in semi-mutiny.
It happens to us too; you and I. We feel like we are all that and the world should know it. It’s happened to me lots of times. And truth be told, I have often gossipped. I have frequently felt unappreciated and undervalued.
But you know what?
It’s wrong to do that. If you feel unappreciated, pray. Talk to yourself and to God. Ask God to elevate you. And if you feel really bad, go to the boss, the leader, whoever it is that makes you feel that way, if that is possible. Lay your complaints, let them know how you feel, and say it in a polite non-judgmental manner. If that doesn’t work, let it ride. Glory will come when it will; don’t try to force it through breaking the rules. Not everyone can be the boss; and for every boss up there, there are hundreds of unseen hands holding him up. Don’t be the disgruntled one. Play your role with joy and quietly take the back seat if you need to do so.
Miriam didn’t do that. She ‘fought’ for her rights in the wrong way; and she became leprous, even if for a day only. And then she died, unsung, uncelebrated, the march did not stop. The trumpet was not blown; no one declared a national mourning for this lady who had risked her life as a little girl so Moses could be. No, all she got was half a sentence at the end of her life announcing her passage.
Don’t be like Miriam; don’t make the mistake of a lifetime!