Peace be with you!
For most of us, a day does not go by without us making a complaint to God about something:
“I need [whatever “it” is], because it will make my life easier.”
“Why do I have to be nice to that person? They have not done anything for me.”
“Why does that person have a better job than me? I work harder.”
“Can’t I just catch a break?”
“I am tired.”
We have all thought or said at least one of these statements. We always think the grass is greener on the other side of the street.”The Israelites complained to the Lord about the unjust Pharaoh, and he called Moses to lead them out of Egypt. Now that the Israelites are out of Egypt they are hungry – the wilderness does not have the luscious food of Egypt (Exodus 16:3). The Israelites take their grievances to Moses and Aaron, and they, in turn, bring them to the Lord.
Thankfully the Lord loves the Israelites and understands their needs. The Lord decides to make it rain bread each morning and instructs Moses to have the Israelites gather just what they need for the day. However, on sixth day, they are to collect twice as much in order to have enough for the seventh day, the Sabbath (Exodus 16:4-5).
The Lord is working to build a new relationship with the Israelites. The Lord shows the Israelites he understands their needs by providing bread each morning. He did not take the Israelites out of Egypt in order to starve them to death in the wilderness, but he provides food when they ask. The Lord also wants to gain the Israelites’ trust, because he will be asking of a lot from them in the future. By providing the Israelites with their basic needs, the Lord is expressing his love for them as his chosen people.
The Israelites will shape the Lord’s new community, which will worship on Mount Sinai. The Lord will lead the Israelites through the wilderness for forty years before they get to the Promised Land. The new community will be given the Ten Commandments and other laws in order that the Israelites live according to the Lord’s ways.
I am relieved that the Lord does not turn away from me when I complain and beg. The Lord understands how little we have to give him and is not put off by always giving and hardly receiving, especially when we are still building our relationship with him. All the Lord asks of us is to share the good news and to turn to him in times of need. For me this week has been a time not exactly of complaint, but of deep need for God. My grandfather has been near to death and finally passed away Friday night. As I went through the week and tried to mentally prepare myself to bury my grandfather, I found myself (emotionally) crawling into the Lord’s lap and seeking his comfort. He ministered to me in my worries and in my sorrow. I need Him as much as the Israelites needed manna. As I mentally prepare myself to bury my grandpa, I find myself climbing into the Lord’s lap when I pray to ask for comfort. I understand it is his time to go see the Lord, but could he hang on until he got one last letter from me? The Lord took my grandpa before he could have read it, though in my heart I believe the Lord will get my grandpa my letter.
Thanks be to God! s
Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for providing for our every need. Lead us through the wilderness as we face many tribulations in this world. Guide us through the storms in our life, and lead us to your kingdom. Thank you for your love and compassion in the midst of our deep neediness. Amen.
Please answer the following reflective questions in the comments below. Please agree to disagree and be respectful to each other. (If you have not already done so, please also take a moment, to sign the behavior covenant by commenting on it.) You can answer as many questions as you would like.
- What do you complain to the Lord about?
- How does the Lord answer your prayers?