Abide Together: Reflections on Number 11
Americans, or maybe I should just say humans, are complainers. It doesn’t matter how much we have, or how good things are for us, we always seem to find something to complain about. I was on a cruise this summer and heard people complaining about the food. What? We were on a cruise – an-all-you-can eat, order-multiple-entrees-and-desserts, eat-whenever-you’d-like cruise. We are complainers.
Israel was no different. After being rescued out of slavery, they too began complaining about the food. I have to admit that I understand. I like meat too and would struggle with a “manna diet.” Their situation was very different than our cruise ship complainers, but we still see in verse 10 that God’s anger “burned hotly.” I can’t imagine what this means for us. If God is upset with Israel for complaining about the food when they were wandering the desert, what does He think of our petty issues – our first world problems. In other parts of the world, they aren’t concerned about the fact that their favorite tv show didn’t record last night, but about where they’re going to get their next meal or whether their sister will survive the trafficking ring.
In every situation, God is the answer. God is the provider. Sometimes He chooses to provide much and sometimes it’s not as much, but as the provider, He gets to choose. Our role is to be grateful – grateful with much and grateful with little. If you ate anything today, you have been blessed and God has provided. He provides for the Israelites and eventually they make it to the promised land. He can also step in to help the young girl who has been trafficked.
I think it’s also important to remember that most of the time the way He steps in, the way He provides is through His people – us. We need to be ready to serve. I’d imagine that if we spent more time serving those in tougher situations, we’d find ourselves complaining less. Somehow I don’t think the problem with the dvr would hold as much weight in our lives if we were actually in touch with the real needs around us.
Prayer: Lord, help me be grateful and recognize Your blessings. Lead me to serve in places that will help me be more grateful. Let me choose thanksgiving over complaining. AMEN.
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