My Grace-Full Life

8.25.18 Praise & Prayer Prompt: Where Did Complaining Ever Get You?

PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• Reading the book of Exodus is always a little frustrating to me.
It’s actually a great adventure-read; a book that demonstrates the incredible power of God, His extraordinary patience, and immeasurable love…
Plus, there are escapes, miracles, plagues, and chases!
But the Israelites…
Facepalm much?!?
I get so frustrated with them!
Of course, being in a situation and reading about it are two very different things.
And in fairness, we have the benefit of hindsight.
Let’s take a look at Exodus 16:1-8 this morning.
I encourage you to read it, but for this purpose, we can summarize the story like this:

  • It only took a few weeks in the desert for the Israelites to long for the days in Egypt.
  • Sure, they were slaves then, but they had plenty to eat.
  • So they did what most of us do in difficult situations, times of change, or when we’re hungry – they complained.
  • And blamed the guys in charge (Moses and Aaron).

After all, times may change, but people never do…
And who hasn’t gotten a tad grumpy when they didn’t get to eat what they wanted when they wanted it?
Chocolate cravings, pizza cravings, and taco cravings are real things, people!
But let’s also look at things from Moses and Aaron’s point of view.
If you’re a parent or an event planner, I really don’t need to elaborate.
You already get it.
It’s frustrating to be the person in charge and having others whine at you because they don’t like what you’re doing or what’s going on…
Never mind that Moses and Aaron were leading them to freedom and the Promised Land.
They were in charge, therefore, it was their fault.
The problem, as Moses pointed out in verse 8b, “Who are we? You are not grumbling against us, but against the Lord.”
The complaints of the Israelites demonstrated a lack of trust in God.
Which is really where my frustration with them is rooted.
God heard their cries of oppression, gave them protection as He orchestrated plague after plague on the Pharaoh, He spared their lives, helped them escape through the Red Sea, and crushed the Egyptian army, and yet, the Israelites were upset over the menu!
They were so focused on what was lacking in the moment, they failed to recognize what God had done, what He was doing, and how He was about to give them a new beginning.
Now it’s time to look inward.
I think we have a little more in common with those Israelites than we probably care to admit.
Because how often do we do the same thing?
We look at what we don’t have and disregard what we do. We pray for God’s intervention and when He does, we complain that He didn’t do it exactly the way we envisioned it.
The truth is that our complaints about what we don’t have cheapen the blessings we do have.
And with a little mind-shift and a new perspective, we can develop a grateful spirit that is honoring to God who bestows all blessings and withholds things that aren’t beneficial to us.
When we do that, it strengthens our trust in Him.
It enables us to see things from Gods perspective.
Remember, He’s looking at the big picture.
We’re looking at a microscopic dot compared to Him!
We can’t complain and judge His methodology with our limited point of view!
But He is gracious and merciful.
He loves us so beautifully and perfectly, despite our limitations.
He is at work in our lives the same way He was back then.
He hears us.
He’s moving obstacles and blocking dangerous paths.
He’s leading us, but we have to be willing to let Him lead.
He has the aerial view of our journey and while we may not be able to see beyond a few steps in front of us, we can trust that God will never leave us, fail us, or let us fall.
He may let us wander, but He’ll never leave us lost.
There’s always a way to Him through His Son, Jesus Christ.
Today, as you pray, thank God for what He has done.
Ask Him to help you change your mindset to see the ways He’s rescued you and the ways He is working in your life right now.
Pray for the faith and trust needed to let Him guide, knowing that He will always provide exactly what you need when you need it!
Questions to consider:

  1. How does focusing on what we don’t have take away from what we do?
  2. What happens when we focus on what we do have?
  3. How can shifting our focus strengthen our trust in God?

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2 Responses

  1. Oh, my goodness, Denise… we are on the same page thematically this weekend… only you approach it from the Old Testament and my post (which publishes tomorrow) tackles this theme from the New Testament! Wow! What a wonderful confirmation from God that this is the message He wants to go out! Thank you for this wonderful post! I so love your writer’s voice… “face-palm”… too funny! Love it! Love you! <3

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