Isn’t it interesting how God can (and will!) teach you a lesson when you are trying to teach your child a lesson? Well, I have to admit that I was seriously convicted as I did devotions with Hannah one morning this week. I haven’t been able to get it out of my head, so, as any avid writer will confess, I just had to write out my thoughts.
Since Hannah was born, I have strived to read one chapter of the Bible to her every day after breakfast. My reasoning on this is that Hannah has never heard the Scriptures before, and the best place to start is at the beginning. Plus, it helps me read through the Bible as well. We are making strides, but we are only in Numbers at this point. As anyone who is familiar with the Bible will tell you, Numbers is a very tedious book to go through and often gets skipped over. Still – once I commit, I commit all the way!
Yet, God used Numbers chapter 11 to convict me about being ungrateful. The Israelites were slaves in Egypt – beaten, overworked, exhausted. God released them from their bondage and brought them manna in the desert. But even the “chosen people of God” began to gripe and complain about wanting more than manna; they even said they were better off in Egypt!
As I read that chapter to Hannah, I was suddenly hit with the knowledge that I was just like the complaining Israelites! No matter what the Lord gives me, I seem to always find something to complain about! We hated Jamie’s old job and prayed that God would free him from a hateful and unfair boss; but when He answered our prayers by Jamie losing his job, we said, “Why us, Lord?” When he found a new job, we complained, “Why did you let him go from his old job?” When our needs were met, we said, “Why can’t we afford to buy this or that or go to a movie?” Our cupboards are always full of food, but we complain that we aren’t able to afford the things we really want to eat!
After I finished reading this chapter to Hannah, I had to stop, bow my head, and ask God for forgiveness. I still find myself complaining at times, but now I stop myself and thank God for the manna.