LESSONS LEARNED FROM A RAINY VACATION
By Carolyn Dale Newell
Nor complain, as some of them also complained,
And were destroyed by the destroyer.
1 Cor. 10:10 (NKJV)
Every day had brought scattered showers during our beach trip, and the forecast was not improving. Yes, we complained, until we heard a news story about flooding in the area north of us. They had received heavy downpours, and now there was major flooding. We listened as people describe their flooded homes. I began to praise God for His mercy on us. We could have experienced flooding, but He spared us. Our vacation could have turned into a disaster, but it didn’t.
Our verse comes from a passage where Paul tells us to learn from the mistakes of the Israelites during their wilderness journey. They constantly complained. They complained because their water was bitter (Ex. 15:24). They complained because they were hungry (Ex. 16:3). They complained about the reports of the Promised Land (Ex. 14:29). Therefore, God did not allow that generation to enter the Promised Land, and they died in the wilderness.
Moses told the Israelites that their complaints were against the Lord (Ex. 16:8). It is sinful to complain about our circumstances because God is our provider. When we complain, we are actually saying that God is not providing adequately for us. Paul wrote to the Philippians, “Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault…” (Phil. 2:14-15a).
We should take our complaints to God in prayer. The Israelites never asked God for water or food. Instead, they complained to Moses about it. They had seen the Red Sea part, and they should have trusted God to provide for them.
We know that our loving, heavenly Father provides for us, but we still complain, which is an insult to God. Let’s begin to replace those complaints with thanks to Him. Complaining cannot exist in the presence of gratitude. Thank God today for His blessings!
Precious heavenly Father,
Forgive us for the sin of complaining. It seems so small, but it is a huge offense to You, our provider and sustainer. Thank You for all Your blessings. You know our needs, and we trust You to meet them. Amen.
Read Ex. 16:1-12.
HIKING THE TRAIL
Complaining comes naturally to us, but we must work on thankfulness. What have you complained about today? How can you show gratitude to God and others?
Copyright 2015 Carolyn Dale Newell.