A Murmuring Spirit

Exodus 16:2
And the whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness.

The people of Israel murmured a lot during their time in the wilderness.  Several times circumstances arose that made them want to pack it in and go back to Egypt.  Several times they cry to Moses that things are hard or confusing or they seem impossible to face.  These various hindrances that arose along the way kept them from wanting to move forward.  Even though these were learning situations that could grow their faith and open their eyes to who God was, they were too focused on everything else to really notice that.

But the truth is, don’t we murmur a lot, too?  Things don’t always go so smoothly.  Things aren’t always comfortable.  Things aren’t always easy.  And our first instinct so often is just to complain about it, to whine about it, to despair over what is happening to us and wish for an easy out.  We’re so worried about our temporary discomfort that we don’t appreciate the long-term benefit that will come from enduring through it.  We miss all the amazing things God is doing because we’re looking at the wrong thing.  We fail to realize how much more it would hurt us to turn around and go back where we came from.

Life in this world will never be easy, and a life following God will be less so.  Hardships will come.  Challenging situations will arise.  And what is our response going to be?  Will we continually just murmur about every little thing that comes up, or are we willing to push through?  Will we allow those things to stop us and just give up, or are we willing to persevere?  Are we willing to trust God—to really trust that He is who He says He is and that He will do what He says He will do?

In the weakness of our flesh, it can be easy to fall into these kinds of attitudes.  With our limited understanding, we can often get discouraged.  Situations can arise that just seem so beyond us, and our faith can falter.  That’s part of being human.  But let’s not give up on God.  Let’s not turn around, but keep moving forward.  Let’s recognize when these attitudes arise within our hearts and ask God to help us work through them in a right way, to gain a new perspective, and to trust Him to remove our doubt so that we can endure through whatever hardship has come our way.

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