Well, I certainly got a much-needed wake-up call this morning. Today’s reading in the chronological 1-yr Bible I’m using in my morning quiet time is Numbers 11-13. The Israelites are grumbling about their diet — no meat, no variety, just manna. They’re focused completely on what makes them unhappy, and they’ve taken their eyes off their miraculous delivery from slavery, survival in the desert, etc.
Well, that certainly sounds familiar. Far too often, I know, I take my eyes off the many blessings I’ve received in just the past few years and focus instead on the aspects of my life I’m not overly pleased with. Instead of focusing on my children’s good health (particularly in light of some very serious scares these past 4 years) and my own, my eyes see only my aging body and lack of good physical health (more on that in a bit). Instead of enjoying my lovely home in a beautiful neighborhood, I fret about the high cost of home ownership. All too often, instead of being grateful that I am employed and work in a department (and campus) filled with fantastic people and have wonderful opportunities as an educator there, I whine about the negative aspects of my job (they all have them, of course) and fret about solvency after retirement. Instead of being thankful my daughter lives nearby (or even with me, as she has at times) and that I see my son several times a year and that I have wonderful neighbors, I focus on my loneliness. I’m no different from the Israelites.
But the story — today’s reading — doesn’t end there. God tells Moses he’s going to give them more meat than they can eat, and Moses — who walked with God — questions His ability!
At first, I’m incredulous that Moses, the man who met face to face with God, who saw the Red Sea part, who knew God in a way few mortals ever have, doubts His ability to do provide more meat than the Israelites can eat. Of course, when you consider the huge Israelite population (as Moses does) and the amount it would take to feed them (Moses raises that issue, too), he does appear to have a point. And I have to admit, I do the same thing. I fret, for example, about whether or not I will be able to survive financially when I retire. I read the missives from financial experts and watch the news, and I wonder how in the world I’ll be able to afford retirement and health care expenses. I question whether or not God — the God who has since before time done uncountable things that are far beyond my understanding — can provide for me. I’m no different from Moses.
I love God’s response: “Has my arm lost its power? Now you will see whether or not My word will come true!” I can almost hear God’s angry roar.
Oh, how tired God must get of my whining and my pity parties. How much I must aggravate Him when my lack of gratitude causes me to question instead of praise Him. How tempted He must be to roar at me and let me know Who is in charge and is perfectly capable of taking care of me, thank you very much!
Furthermore, unlike the Israelites, I actually can change some of the very circumstances that make me unhappy. High cost of home ownership? Sell my house and buy something less expensive (to be fair, my house is on the market, and I plan to do just that when it sells). Don’t like my lack of optimum health? Eat a more healthy diet and stick to a good, healthy exercise plan. Lonely? Attend some of the activities I’ve been talking about attending, join a ladies’ group at church, and get back into volunteering. And through it all, trust God to keep His promises!
I don’t know about you, but I needed today’s Scripture reading and the attitude adjustment it prompted.