Monday, July 16, 2012
On trusting God and being thankful ...
I always found it silly that the Israelites continued to doubt God after He showed them time and time again that He was real and that He was taking care of them. First, He gets them out of slavery in Egypt, passing over their families when He took out the first born of every Egyptian home. Then, He parts the Red Sea to let them through when the Egyptians were coming after them. Then, He made it rain bread from Heaven, every single day to feed them when they were hungry.
He showed them repeatedly that He would not let them down. Yet, they doubted Him and feared the future at every turn.
When they first left Egypt, they found themselves in the desert, thirsty and tired. They were thrilled to find running water in Marah, but then quickly turned on Moses when they discovered that the water tasted bitter.
After a month or so, they began to complain about their lack of food, saying that they wished they were still in Egypt. Never mind the fact that God had led them out of slavery; their journey was less than perfect and so they complained.
God blessed them now with Manna from heaven ~ their daily bread, free, a gift from the Creator who loved them and cared for them.
When they came to the land of Canaan, they complained again to Moses that they had no water to drink. You would think that they would have learned by now that God would take care of their needs. As usual, God provided them with cool, clear water that they could drink and drink.
Not long after that, God gave them His Ten Commandments ~ His only wish was that they keep His commandments and in return, He would continue to care for them.
I'm sure you all know that one of those commandments is not to make any idol to worship. God asked something so simple ~ "I am the Lord, Your God, who brought you out of Egypt... You should have NO OTHER GODS before Me."
Yet, when Moses took a little too long on the mountain, they grew impatient and weak. Again, they doubted God. So quickly they created that golden calf to worship in the place of God. I mean, really. What was wrong with these people? Were they really that dense that they still didn't get it?
As if that weren't enough, they continued to be ungrateful. God continued to send them their daily bread, Manna from Heaven, but do you know that they eventually complained about that as well? They grew tired of the Manna and wanted meat and vegetables and herbs and fish.
Here they were, being given food on a daily basis, directly from the hand of God, and yet they felt sorry for themselves. They were not satisfied. They were not content with what God had given them.
I've always found it interesting that these people took so much for granted. That they continued to doubt God, who continued to provide for them and take care of them and love them. It has always struck a nerve with me that these people behaved the way they did.
But, isn't it easier to see the wrong that others do (even those who came thousands of years before us) than it is to see what we do each day?
While I've always seen the wrong in the Israelites' behavior, I never equated that with my own daily behaviors.
Think about it. We all do it. God blesses us each and every day with a home to call our own (even if we are renting), food to eat, love of family ... just the simple fact of another day. And, yet, if we aren't careful, we can get grumbly just like the Israelites.
God gives us Manna, but we want vegetables and herbs.
God gives us a home, but we want more space. He gives us food to eat, but we wish we could afford to go out to eat. He gives us happy and healthy children, but we wish they would just listen better. He gives us everything we need, but we still find things to complain about.
The key is to truly find contentment in what you have been given. To know that all good things come from God and that we should be thankful for each and every gift He gives us.
Not only do we need to be thankful, though, but we must remember to trust God. Just as He continuously provided for the needs of the Israelites, He continues to provide for our needs, so there is no reason for us to doubt Him.
Today I am thankful for my home. It has its quirks and it most definitely isn't perfect, but it is a home.
Today I am thankful for my family. My children do not always obey immediately like little robots, but they are two of the kindest and most loving children I know. I get compliments on them constantly. I am always being told how well-behaved and well-mannered they are. I am always being told how kind they are to other children, how they make sure to include everyone in everything. They do listen to me and love me and respect me. They do vacuum the floors and do laundry and clean the bathroom and wash dishes ... and rarely complain about it. They shower me with hugs and kisses and more joy than one person could possibly ask for.
Today I am thankful for my husband. He works hard and loves me more than anything. He treats me like a Queen, even when I don't deserve it. He respects me and truly appreciates and gets all that I do.
Today I am thankful for my mother. I know with complete confidence that she loves me. If it were up to her, she'd talk to me every day. She is a good mom and I am lucky to have her in my life.
Today and every day, I give thanks to God for all of the amazing blessings He continues to bestow upon me.
Today and every day, I remember to trust God. He has gotten us this far, why on Earth would I ever doubt that He won't continue to provide for us on this Narrow Path that leads to Him?
Do you find yourself doubting God? Do you find yourself fearful of the future? Do you find yourself discontent with your life? If so, take a moment to think about the Israelites. Remember that He brought them out of Egypt, He gave them their daily bread, He provided for them. Do not doubt Him. He will do the same for you. Do not get grumbly. Give thanks!