I have not been reading my Bible or even praying of late. I guess, in some ways, I’ve been depressed. Coupled with the fact that I’ve been ill, I just did not feel like talking to God. I don’t think I was mad at Him, just tired of it all. Then today, I got out of bed and decided to do some cleaning while listening to the Word. Even though I’m several days behind, I still went to the last podcast I’d heard and it was the story of the children of Israel in the wilderness. After listening to that, I went back to read it. I’ll post some verses here, but bear in mind that this took place directly after God had parted the red sea for them to cross and had made that same red sea swallow up the Egyptian chariots.
1-3 On the fifteenth day of the second month after they had left Egypt, the whole company of Israel moved on from Elim to the Wilderness of Sin which is between Elim and Sinai. The whole company of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron there in the wilderness. The Israelites said, “Why didn’t God let us die in comfort in Egypt where we had lamb stew and all the bread we could eat? You’ve brought us out into this wilderness to starve us to death, the whole company of Israel!”
4-5 God said to Moses, “I’m going to rain bread down from the skies for you. The people will go out and gather each day’s ration. I’m going to test them to see if they’ll live according to my Teaching or not. On the sixth day, when they prepare what they have gathered, it will turn out to be twice as much as their daily ration.”
6-7 Moses and Aaron told the People of Israel, “This evening you will know that it is God who brought you out of Egypt; and in the morning you will see the Glory of God. Yes, he’s listened to your complaints against him. You haven’t been complaining against us, you know, but against God.”
8 Moses said, “Since it will be God who gives you meat for your meal in the evening and your fill of bread in the morning, it’s God who will have listened to your complaints against him. Who are we in all this? You haven’t been complaining to us—you’ve been complaining to God!”
9 Moses instructed Aaron: “Tell the whole company of Israel: ‘Come near to God. He’s heard your complaints.'”
10 When Aaron gave out the instructions to the whole company of Israel, they turned to face the wilderness. And there it was: the Glory of God visible in the Cloud.
11-12 God spoke to Moses, “I’ve listened to the complaints of the Israelites. Now tell them: ‘At dusk you will eat meat and at dawn you’ll eat your fill of bread; and you’ll realize that I am God, your God.'” (Exodus 16:1-12, The Message)
I mean gosh! What was it with these people!!! They had the opportunity to literally experience the Glory of God and each time they faced one small discomfort they began to moan and complain!! What sort of people were these?
As I was busy ruminating on that, a soft voice in my heart replied the sort of people you are.
This brought me up short and really made me think. I have actually seen and experienced God doing wonderful things in my life; He has brought me out of some situations that I could only have gotten out of through His help. Regardless of how hard I’ve tried, He keeps me from destroying my own life. . . the examples are numerous and countless. The things He has brought me through: exams, illness, heartache. . . and yet here I was, because of a little loneliness and depression, I turned my face to the wall and was sulking!
It was a lesson that rammed home. Communication and fellowship with God does not depend on how I’m feeling at the moment. Happy, sad, down, exhilarated, whatever – He wants to share in my life. In every tiny little detail. Just to talk and fellowship and feel that connection.
I guess when it comes down to it, we are not that much different from those Israelites. No matter how many times God has shown us his mercy, we still find it easy to go into a sulk because things don’t go our way. We need to know that God’s love does not change with circumstances or the weather. We need to trust that He is the most Constant in our lives. Ever. Things may change, circumstances may change, we may even change. But his love for us will never, ever change.
For Jesus doesn’t change—yesterday, today, tomorrow, he’s always totally himself. (Hebrews 13:8, The Message)