They had to carry the holy things for which they were responsible on their shoulders……
Moses didn’t give any ox-carts or oxen to the Kohathites because they had to carry the holy things for which they were responsible on their shoulders. Numbers 7:6-9
As the children of Israel travel through the wilderness they now have the additional responsibility of transporting the congregational tent and all the items used for worship. Two of the three tribes receive oxen and carts to help carry the load. But as Amy Carmichael writes in her devotional;
“All the other priests had ox-carts to carry their part of the tabernacle through the desert. But the sons of Kohath had to trudge along the rocky tracks through the burning sand, with the ‘holy things for which they were responsible for’ on their shoulders. Did they ever grumble inwardly, feeling that the other priests had the easier task? Perhaps! But God knows that some things are too precious to be carried on ox-carts and asks us to carry them on our shoulders.”
There are many ways to support and help those who are in need in our world, and I applaud all who do so in any way they choose. But there are times when we are called to do more than write a check or pray for the situation.
As I write this I think of two friends of ours who provide foster care for children who have been abused and abandoned, even adopting a little one into their family. I think of those who give of themselves to love and care for teenagers who are homeless in our city. Those who go and visit the sick and the elderly in hospitals and care facilities. Who mentor, who counsel, who come alongside and walk with people through the troubles of this life. I think of grandparents who because of unfortunate circumstances, who gladly take on the responsibility to care for and raise their grandchildren.
God knows that sometimes there are things too precious to be carried on ox-carts and asks us to carry them on our shoulders.