Thursday, January 30, 2014

Thought of the Day !!

From Mount Hor they set out by the way to the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom; but the people became impatient on the way. The people spoke against God and against Moses, ‘Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we detest this miserable food.’   
                                                      Numbers 21:4-5 (NRSV)
As I read this passage, I couldn't help but smile as I thought of how my response to the Israelites' complaints would be if I were Moses.  They complain that there's no food.  Then they follow that complaint up by saying that they "detest this miserable food."  Hey, wait a minute.  I thought you said there was no food.  Which is it?  No food...or miserable food?  It can't be both.
I guess what really made me smile was thinking back on how I've gone through my kitchen before and opened all the cabinets and the refrigerator only to shut the doors and complain, "There's no food in this house!"  Was there actually no food for me to eat?  Oh there might be a can of chicken noodle soup.  There might be some peanut butter and some saltines.  There might have been something I would have to take the time to cook.  But the truth of the matter is that I didn't want what I had in my kitchen.  And so I've complained before that there's no food, when in reality it was right in front of me. 
The Israelites were getting spoiled.  They evidently had access to food.  They just didn't want it.  And so they complained. 
The problem was that the Israelites forgot.  You see, they forgot just how miserable they were in Egypt.  They forgot how they prayed for God to save them.  They forgot how God sent Moses to them.  They forgot how God brought them out of Egypt and how God saved them again at the Red Sea and how God had produced food and water for them and protected them.  They evidently forgot all that God had done for them because they complained.  And if they had thought about how good God had been, they would realize that there was nothing to complain about.
I think we can get just like the Israelites from time to time.  We forget all the blessings we have.  We forget how good we actually have it when we see someone who has it better than us.  We forget that life itself is a blessing, and that there is much good to find in it.  We simply forget.  And we do the same as the Israelites.  We complain.  Why did I get....  Or why didn't I get....  Why did so and so do better....  Why oh why.  And the whys become whining.  And negativism or envy or jealousy or whatever turns us into complainers.
I wonder what would happen if every time we started to complain about something, we found something to be thankful for first.  Maybe this world would become a more positive place.  And maybe God would be happier with us.
In the love of Christ,


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