I was at the filling station when a man I knew pulled up in the next lane and greeted me. I asked how he was and he said, “We’re struggling,” but he said it jovially so it could really have meant anything. I thought that if it goes too well with us we won’t stay on our knees. If we don’t lack anything we really won’t need God.
Then I thought about Moses who grew up in the courts of Pharaoh. He had every resource at his fingertips. He had servants at his beck and call and he definitely never had to wonder where his next meal would come from. The princess who adopted him was the daughter of the Pharaoh. So his adoptive grandfather ruled one of the mightiest kingdoms in the world. I think I can say with certainty that Moses didn’t have a disadvantaged upbringing. The Moses killed an Egyptian who was beating a Hebrew slave and he had to flee for his life when he was found out. He stayed in the land of Midian for a few years until God called him back to Egypt to free the Hebrews from bondage.
Now what if Moses hadn’t killed the Egyptian and had stayed in Pharaoh’s palace and led a life of luxury? He might have. He would have had a nice life. But when he died he would have missed out of heaven.
How often don’t we think that if we had a better life we would be happy. We won’t have to worry about money and be stressed about where the money will come from that we need. Obviously everyone’s needs are different and wealth is relative. But we all think that way at one or other time. Why do I have to struggle while my neighbor has it easy? Why can some people go on long holidays and I always have to count the cents. Why?
I don’t know the answers, but I do know that God uses the situations that we are in to work in our hearts. If we live a life of luxury it might be too easy to forget all about God. If we never got sick we could take it for granted that we are healthy and not look to God to live in divine health. If our children were perfect we might think that we are perfect parents and we wouldn’t pray for them. If our businesses were just churning our cash we wouldn’t have to be on our knees. What if our lives were perfect and we had lots and lots of money and we were healthy and our kids were amazing? What if it was like that but what if we didn’t know God? But what if our lives are like they are and we do know God and we think it’s not fair that God’s children would be in the situation we are.
David was God’s anointed. The Bible doesn’t leave us guessing about that. He was physically anointed by Samuel and God even called him a man after His own heart. (1 Sam 13:14 and Acts 13:22). In Psalm 18:6 David says In my distress I called upon the Lord.
Psalm 13:1 – 2 How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? How long will my enemy be exalted over me?
Psalm 69:1 – 3 Save me, O God! For the waters have come up to my neck. I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing; I have come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me. I am weary with my crying; My throat is dry; My eyes fail while I wait for my God.
Psalm 140:1 – 3 Deliver me, O Lord, from evil men, preserve me from violent men, who plan violent things in their hearts; They continually gather together for war. They sharpen their tongues like a serpent; The poison of asps is under their lips.
Jeremiah was a prophet of God and he complained to God. Just look at Jeremiah 12:1 – 2 Righteous are You, O Lord, when I plead with You; Yet let me talk with You about Your judgments. Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why are those happy who deal so treacherously? You have planted them, yes, they have taken root; They grow, yes, they bear fruit. You are near in their mouth but far from the mind.
Jeremiah did not have an easy life at all. He was imprisoned and beaten and taken captive. Yet, he was chosen by God to speak to the people. Jeremiah certainly did not live a charmed life, but he knew God and that is worth far more than all the wealth in the world.
Next time I want to complain I’ll think about Moses, David and Jeremiah and instead of being miserable about what I’m going through I’ll look up, spread my wings and choose to fly above the circumstances.