The other day, I was reading in Numbers 11 . You may know the story . . . the one about how the Israelites were tired of manna. They wanted meat, doggone it. And why couldn’t they just be in Egypt, where the food was free, and there was variety?
Never mind the fact that they were slaves, treated cruelly by the Egyptians. But they had good food!
Humanity hasn’t changed much in a few thousand years. We still complain about God’s provision.
Manna wasn’t enough for the Israelites’ tastebuds. Manna was . . . boring. They were discontent with the food of angels, that God provided them daily.
I’ve been in that same place, and if you were honest, you’d be raising your hand with me. God’s provided for my needs, but not necessarily in the ways I wanted. I’ve wanted more, or different. I’ve chosen discontent over gratitude.
When we complain, even just in our thoughts or our hearts, we’re telling God we want our way over His. That we know what’s best for us. We’re trusting ourselves, rather than our Father.
How many times have I walked in my own trust and ended up dissatisfied and hurt by my choices? Um, okay, I’m not going to answer this because the number is far higher than I’d like to own.
The truth is, until we come trust that God’s provision is what we need most, we’re going to chafe against it. We’re going to wish for more, or different. We’re going to be frustrated.
When God’s provision looks different from what we expect or hope for, we need to walk in the belief that what He provides is not only enough, it’s what is best for us.
This mindset can be hard to adopt because it requires us to relinquish the control we think we have over our lives. It demands the surrender of our ways to God’s best plan for us.
It’s only when we come to the place of remembering: 1) that God loves us more than we can comprehend, and 2) He only provides what’s best for us that we can relax into a place of trusting Him.
Sometimes His provision is hard to accept because it forces us into a place of pain. Through the pain, growth can come, in ways we never anticipated.
Sometimes His provision looks like not-enough, but we discover, later, that it was perfectly enough.
When we trust God to provide what we need, we won’t complain or grumble. And we won’t be forced to eat meat until we’re beyond sick of it, like the Israelites.
What about you? When have you seen God provide in surprising ways? How do you overcome the urge to complain when things aren’t going the way you expected?