And he called the name of the place Massah, and Meribah, because of the chiding of the children of Israel, and because they tempted the LORD, saying, Is the LORD among us, or not?
What kind of journey were the children of Israel expecting when they walked through that wall of water onto the other side? What paradise did they imagine waited for them as soon as their feet left the ground of Egypt? It seems they wanted an easy and trouble-free journey with no discomfort along the way, no hardships, no trials, or else they are so soon ready to deny that God is even with them at all. Perhaps all of those mighty works were not for Pharaoh’s benefit, but for Israel’s, though even after God had shown Himself so mighty, their doubts were quick to come.
But have we ever been guilty of this attitude ourselves? After our great deliverance from sin and the grave, after Jesus’ blood freed us from the grip of Satan and hell and the slow downward pull to destruction, have we forgotten the greatness of our redemption at the first trial we face? Have we fooled ourselves into believing that the narrow path would be the easier road to take and that following Christ would mean a trouble-free journey to the other side? When difficulties come, are we quick to wonder if God has abandoned us or if He was ever with us at all?
Shame on us for such an attitude. These doubts of ours are so foolish, and they only reveal a lack of understanding about God and who He is. A too-easy path produces wimpy saints. An untried faith results in weakness. A self-satisfying contentment in the world draws us away from God and the hope we should have in Him. Trials and hardships do not mean God has abandoned us. He just wants us to trust Him through them and depend on Him for whatever the need may be, because He knows all the needs that we have. He will not lead us out to die of thirst in the wilderness, but He will lead us along a path that produces an insatiable thirst for Him.
Are we doubting God when times get hard, or do we have the faith to persevere? Do we know He is always with us and act accordingly in our lives? Do we always seek the easy way out, or do we understand that obstacles and hardship are a part of life, ordained by God and able to be used by Him to work in our lives and build us up into the people He wants us to be? He’s promised to always be with us, so may we continue to trust Him, come what may.