Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”
[ The People Complain ] Now the people became like those who complain of adversity in the hearing of the LORD; and when the LORD heard it, His anger was kindled, and the fire of the LORD burned among them and consumed some of the outskirts of the camp.
Evening and morning and at noon, I will complain and murmur, And He will hear my voice.
Brace yourself, this lesson might be a little harsh as I know it was a bit for me. When one realizes that their actions are seen and heard by God, our jaw drops and we shrink back from what we just did and quickly ask for repentance. Today a dear friend of mine said this to me and reminded me that while in the desert places, God is watching and listening to see where He can help. If all we are doing is mumble, grumble stuff, how is He suppose to help us? Complaining does not give God a canvas to work with. In fact, it probably delays the process so to speak because God cannot move in an unwilling vessel and what if He is trying to move us out of the desert but we are not listening to hear above our own complaints?
I have been in this spot so many times. During my childhood while my parents were constantly at battle with each other, yelling an screaming, I was unhappy. Beer cans flying through the air. The empty threats. Some of you know where I have been. Not a peaceful moment, even when one of them was absent from the home the other was complaining. Now granted I was just a child and really did not know how to reach out to God but sure enough all my friends knew how it was at my house because I would tell them.
Teenage years, did not want to cry out for help of any kind, because I had told God that I had everything under control The smoking, the drinking and the dating. Yup! I knew it all. Did not complain much at this stage but it is what set me up for the next stage of my life, marriage. By not listening to God, I ended up making my own bad choices, which I now see God is working for good, yet I struggled for a long time. I had stopped the party scene when I became pregnant with my son, quit smoking when I knew my body had had enough and I walked out of a destructive marriage, yet none of these things could I have done without God pulling me through it.
Once I realized I truly needed God, things began to be easier to take. I knew He had control. I believed in the master plan. I had no doubts, so I thought until I realized my grumblings when they were pointed out to me. How could I possibly still be complaining after all God had and is still doing for me? Where is my trust that He will lead me into the Promise Land? I want a new home so badly, yet I know in time it will come to pass. Things sometimes are frustrating with work, yet I know my job is there because God led me to where I am. I know it is human nature to grumble, especially in todays society where the thought process becomes: we deserve it so why don’t we have it?
The “I deserve” was a short battle for me. Directly after separating from my husband I felt a freedom I had never known before. There was money where there wasn’t before. My short leash was gone and I could go to the grocery store and not have to hurry home or get a phone call of panic because I had taken too long. I grabbed all of the free time and luxuries I wanted because I felt I deserved them when in reality, I did not. This mentality did not last long because in my crying our for God, He truly showed me that He would provide for me and He proved it. He began to replace all which the enemy had stolen and more. I am now beginning to see what really matters in life and it is not things or money.
Now as the days toward the Promise Land are just around the corner, we must learn to kick our complaining to the curb! God is in control and we need to accept this for truth. If all we are doing is whining and complaining and not letting God know our needs, how is He suppose to help out in our current situations? Instead, praise Him in the storms. Delight in the good things He has given to us. Show Him love with our worship. Stop dragging our feet as we enter into the church and enter into His gates with praise and thanksgiving. Let God know we are anxious for what He has next for us. Begin to strengthen the relationship by honoring Him and bringing to Him the best of who we are.
While we are focusing on Him, this world and its’ demands will quickly fade and soon we no longer will be grumbling about this or that. We will be so in tune with God, we can close our eyes and know provision is right in front of us. I urge us all to journal our praises for one week and see if the rest of our week was better than last week. Sing to Him when no one else is around. I am sure I look like a fool half the time when I am driving because sometimes I get so lost in worship I forget where I am going. (thank goodness for angels) When we are showing our thanks to God, it is hard to be spiteful or snippy. It is more difficult to be mean or snide. It is harder still to contain our joy at times! God is good and He loves to hear our praises.