When I read through the book of Exodus, the thing that always stands out to me the most is just how quickly the Israelites forgot about the goodness of God. It seems like one day they were worshipping and praising the name of Yahweh, while the next they were asking Moses why he led them out to die in the wilderness. I sometimes read the narrative with an air of “oh you of little faith!” and “how could someone be so ungrateful?” But when I take a look at my own life, and the lives of those around me, I wonder–could the same be said of you and me?
All of us may not have experienced something as miraculously jaw-dropping as the Israelites’ exodus after the Ten Plagues or the parting of the Red Sea, but we have all experienced the goodness of God. I would dare say that we all have received a blessing from Heaven in one way or another. Keep in mind that He works in little ways, too: maybe you got all green lights on your way to work? Or there was one donut left after a long day of school? Perhaps the radio played the right song at just the right time? God is everywhere, in every detail of your life. You can find something positive if you just look.
But even if something big does happen to us and Providence shows up out of nowhere–like we get an unexpected paycheck just when money is getting tight, or a nerve-wracking situation plays out better than we could have imagined–aren’t we quick to focus on the negative? Especially in 2020, I feel like our default setting is to grumble and complain. “We can’t do this,” “we can’t do that,” “we have to wear masks,” “who knows when things will be normal again.”
It makes me wonder how many times the Israelites asked when their lives would be “normal” again.
Just like the Israelites thought they would have been better off had they never left Egypt, don’t we find ourselves saying we’d have been better off without 2020? Don’t we find ourselves wishing we could go back? How many miracles and works of God have we forgotten about or overlooked while we were busy complaining about 2020?
God told the Israelites to never go back to Egypt. That was a land of slavery, and He had set them free. Even though they wanted the food and the luxuries that were back there, God in His wisdom knew they were better off moving forward toward the Promised Land. He knew He had something better for them even if they had to walk through the wilderness to get there. And He provided for them every step of the way, from allowing them to receive riches from the terrified Egyptians before they departed, to raining manna down from Heaven every morning. They simply chose to dwell on the bad and what they didn’t have.
I wonder if God is as saddened by the complaints of our world today as He was back then. We live under the new covenant and He offers us grace, but that doesn’t give us an excuse to be ungrateful. God has provided us with everything we need to live a life of godliness.
There are plenty of blessings we can find if we just look for them. Let us today be on the lookout for “manna”–all the little ways that God provides for us day in and day out. Let’s stop looking back at what life once was, and start looking ahead to what life will be. I have no idea how long we’ll be in this “wilderness” of Covid-19 or what’s coming afterwards, but I do know that at the end of it all, those who are in Christ will step into the Promised Land of Heaven. That’s way more fun to dream about than 2020 is to be miserable about!
As a new driver, I have found the saying to be very true: “You can’t drive forward looking in the rearview mirror.”
What things (activities, sports, etc.) have you been forced to leave behind in “Egypt”? In what ways could the outbreak of the pandemic have been an “exodus” to lead you out of a land of slavery? What is the “manna” God is providing for you today?
Update on the Reading Challenge
At the beginning of October, I told all of you that I was going to start reading the Bible with a goal of finishing in 3 months. I originally intended to read for an hour a day, but I quickly found out that 1) that is hard to do, and 2) it doesn’t take that long every day to stay on top of my goal. I have been timing myself, and it varies from day to day, but I am happy to say that I am still on schedule to finish in 3 months! I have read Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Job, and I’m working my way through Numbers right now.
So yeah. There’s your update. XD
I will see you back on the blog next week!