A few nights ago, my heart was convicted during evening devotions with my older kids. The devotion was taken from Exodus 16. The reading was about the Israelites in the wilderness. They were complaining against Moses and Aaron for leading them to the desert to starve. The Lord heard their complaints and decided to send manna and quail.
As I was talking with my children, I asked if it reminded them of anything or anyone. My oldest immediately admitted it reminded her of herself and how much she has complained about our move to Georgia. I had to confess she was not alone. I felt God speaking to me about my own complaints. I have often thought of our move to Georgia as my desert place, and in that moment I felt the burden of my groaning.
In verse 8 Moses tells the Israelites, “Your complaining is not against us but against the Lord.” OUCH! I’ve spent the last couple of years complaining against my husband for bringing us here and the losses I felt we’ve endured. God is really the one who brought us here, so my complaints have actually been against him. Wow! Did that make me pause.
Just like he provided for the Israelites needs, he has done the same for us. He has provided and continues to provide new friends. He has allowed us to continue homeschooling, and provided medications and special foods for my children. Many things we never needed before he has provided and more. We have not lacked in one need, yet I have complained incessantly about our new life here. I have complained about HIS path and HIS plan for our lives instead of being content and thankful for his grace. Worst of all, I have led my children down the path of discontentment instead of demonstrating gratefulness.
Even as God provided for the Israelites again and again, they failed to follow his instructions. Boy, that sounds familiar! He told them only to gather enough for their daily needs. Some gathered more and found the next day that it had spoiled. Seeing this the Lord responded, “How long will you refuse to keep my commandments and instructions?” (Exodus 16:28)
How long will I refuse to change my attitude? How long will I refuse to submit myself to the Lord’s instructions and my husband’s leadership? How long will I refuse to forgive? How long will I refuse to respect? How long will I refuse to trust?
God has made it clear many times that I must change. “The Israelites ate manna…until they came to a habitable land;…until they came to the border of the land of Canaan.”(Exodus 16:35) They struggled a long time. Lord, I’m tired of fighting your way. I want to be at the border of my Canaan. I know you have a Promised Land for me, if I will follow you and your commands.
Thank you for these words. Here I am again asking for forgiveness. Your ways are not my ways. Your ways are so much better. You have shown me that so many times. Help me to release all the fears that have kept me from following your instructions. I’m convicted. Now, I need to do something about it.