Daily Readings: Numbers 11-12, Psalm 40
The rabble with them began to crave other food, and again the Israelites started wailing and said, “If only we had meat to eat! We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost—also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic. But now we have lost our appetite; we never see anything but this manna!”
Whenever I read about the Israelites in the Old Testament I am always struck by what a group of whiners they are! Here is a group of people that were rescued from slavery and yet they complain about anything and everything. How quickly they seem to forget what Egypt was like! They conveniently forget backbreaking labor from sun up to sun down, being beaten and whipped, and having their male children killed in an attempt to suppress their growing population.
Instead they whine about having to eat manna!
Here is God miraculously providing food for them out of thin air, but they want more. How ungrateful can you get? Really. Get it together Israel!
Then I remember myself…
The reality is that the Israelites were wandering through the desert on a promise that they would eventually settle into the land God promised to them. This journey was not just days, weeks, months, or years; it was decades.
God has put so many amazing blessings in my life. All of my basic needs are met and so much more. And yet how quickly do I occasionally allow a spirit of stress, anxiety, frustration, and ungratefulness to set in on some days?
The Israelites should have been overcome with thankfulness every single day at their good fortune and had no right to grumble! However, when comparing situations, I have infinitely less reason.
I truly believe that one of the most powerful things we can do as marketplace missionaries is demonstrate a spirit of thankfulness. We have a society that relishes complaining. Without consciously realizing it, we have collectively fallen into the habit of embracing the feeling indignation, outrage, and dissatisfaction. When people see us, as Christians, break this mold and living lives of thankfulness and peace; it is an incredibly foreign and attractive thing to observe. It is hard to not be attracted to someone who always seems thankful for their blessings instead of stressing over needing more. You have to stop and ask, “Why? Where does this spirit of thankfulness come from?”
I want to walk through life with the mindset that David expresses in Psalm 40 today when he declares:
Many, Lord my God,
are the wonders you have done,
the things you planned for us.
None can compare with you;
were I to speak and tell of your deeds,
they would be too many to declare.
I proclaim your saving acts in the great assembly;
I do not seal my lips, Lord,
as you know.
I do not hide your righteousness in my heart;
I speak of your faithfulness and your saving help.
I do not conceal your love and your faithfulness
from the great assembly.
When we make the conscious decision each and every day to count our blessings, remember the amazing work God has done in our lives, and are unafraid of telling others of the wonders God has done; a spirit of thankfulness is only natural.
Today I will embrace living out Psalm 40 instead of Numbers 11. Today I will choose a spirit of thankfulness!
Thought to ponder
When have I recently fallen into a whiny attitude that looks more like the Israelites and how can I refocus my mind on the incredible blessings God has put in my life?