We all have choices in life. I am in the middle of studying Moses. He had a tough job. The perks of the job were seeing God’s glory, talking with Him, and hearing Him talk back. Oh, and don’t forget about those miracles. I think I would been terrified of the miracles. The bummer was that he had tons of people to lead who didn’t always want to follow. One thing the Hebrews were know for was complaining. It wasn’t like life was super easy for them in the desert, but God was providing for them.
When I was a freshman in high school, my youth group went to Mexico to build a house with Amor Ministries. It was AMAZING. Our mantra that week, thanks to my mentor Julie, was Numbers 11:1. “The people complained, and the Lord was displeased…” We quoted that verse any time someone would start complaining about the rain, hard work, hunger, hot weather, or anything else. The verse has stuck with me since then.
There is more to the verse. “Now when the people complained, it displeased the Lord; for the Lord heard it, and His anger was aroused. So the fire of the Lord burned among them, and consumed some in the outskirts of the camp.” Numbers 11:1 NKJ
Displeased wasn’t a frown or cross look; it was major consequences. Now mind you, this wasn’t the first time the people had complained. They had been on this adventure in the desert for over a year. At the beginning of the journey when they panicked for lack of water, they complained and God provided water without consequences. But they had been on this adventure awhile, and they still weren’t ready to trust God.
Complaining, does it sound familiar? I hear it from my children e.v.e.r.y day. We work on it every day. But what about me? Do I complain? Am I ever aware of it? Because when I think about the consequences, they are intense. In Numbers 11, a few people died because of complaining. There was an even greater disaster a few chapters later.
In chapter 13, the children of Israel hear about the land God has been telling them He would provide for them. It sounds great, but there are giants in the land. Instead of trusting the God who got them out of Eygpt by a series of miracles, provided water and manana, and had shown them His glory, they complained and didn’t trust Him. Their consequences in chapter 14 are heart breaking. Because they complained and lacked faith, they wouldn’t get to go into the land. Instead they would wander the desert for 40 years. During that time, everyone 20 years and older would die except the two men who trusted God could take them into the land. The next generation would be the ones to enter the land. Chapter 15 in a reminder that God would do as He said, and the people would enter the land.
So that is all fresh in my mind as Sunday comes. I am home with Lydia who is sick with RSV. I don’t get to go to church. I have only left my house once that week to go to the doctor for Lydia. So in short, I am super bummed about not being able to go to church where I can see people, get out of the house, hear about Jesus, and sing.
An inner battle commenced. Would I complain? There was no one to complain to, but what about my heart? We all have choices. It was raining, which we really need, but I am a sunshine girl. Sunshine helps my heart be happy.
Not that everyday is a success, but these pictures are a story of success. I c.h.o.s.e to try and capture the rain’s beauty on our trees. I c.h.o.s.e to paint for the first time in months. I am reminded today that the sun does come out. The last three pictures of blooms are from today’s sunshine.
Food for thought: We all have choices. To complain or not to complain; that is the question.