Seriously. Ever been driving in a car on an 8-hour trip to reach a beach-front condo where you know the immeasurable joy it’s going to bring the two children riding in the back seat who have never seen the ocean? And mile-marker after endless mile-marker, all you hear from them is whine, whine, whine…murmur, grumble, and more whine? Your brain gets so full of their incessant complaining that you want to stop the car, smack their bottoms a few times and turn around and go back home.
I think this may have been what God felt like when He sent Moses to the children of Israel to lead them out of Egypt into the Promised Land. Instead of gratitude for the vacation from grueling, daily slavery to Pharoah, they murmurred and complained every step of the way. Instead of rejoicing that their sippy cups had an endless supply of water and their traveling trays held manna for each mile that they freely walked into the desert, they grumbled that the manna wasn’t chicken nuggets, the water wasn’t lemonade. Then…just as the Lord brings them to the edge of the land flowing with milk and honey, they cannot trust the promises of the Lord. They want to go back home to the drudgery of slavery. They’re tired of walking; they don’t trust what God has promised. They decide they were better off under the hand of Pharoah…than in the palm of God’s.
“The LORD said to Moses, “How long will this people spurn Me? And how long will they not believe in Me, despite all the signs which I have performed in their midst?” Numbers 14:11
How long will it take our children to believe we will do good things for them…better than they can imagine? How many good things will we give them for them to trust we have the best possible things in store for them? How many times must we tell them to do it our way before they learn our wisdom comes from experience and the Lord’s guidance in our lives? We wonder sometimes.
What about us? How much does God have to do to get us to believe our best interests are His priority? How many mini-miracles and major interventions must He perform in our lives to have us trust Him with abandon?
As I think about all I’ve been grumbling and complaining about with my life these days, I am ashamed to say, it seems to be a never-ending lesson with me. Why do so many little things irritate us, cause us to question God’s love and divine plan for the obstacles and seemingly brick walls to the plans we make? I am of the mind that I fail to trust He has something better. Much better than I can imagine in this phase of my life–this temporary desert.
Forgive us Lord when we fail to trust You. Forgive us for looking at giants and thinking they are bigger than You. Clear the blindness we have in life’s trials, and let us trust You with the insight of Your watchcare and steadfast love.