For our good

Because we own a takeaway shop a menu is part of our daily life. People can choose between different kinds of burgers and sandwiches and pizzas. You can get a plain burger, which really isn’t all that plain, but then you can add egg, bacon or cheese, or a combination of the three. We are really spoiled for choice most of the time. We go to the movies and have a choice of three or more movies. Supermarkets stock different flavours, versions and models of everything from ice cream to steam irons. Nothing is simple. Just think of the Israelites when they were in the desert and there was a choice between manna and manna.

Exodus 16:35, And the children of Israel ate manna forty years, until they came too an inhabited land; they ate manna until they came to the border of the land of Canaan.

How would that suit us? When we read the account of how they complained and grumbled about only eating manna.

Numbers 11:4-6, Now the mixed multitude who were among them yielded to intense craving; so the children of Israel also wept again and said: “Who will give us meat to eat? We remember the fish which we ate freely in Egypt, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic; but now our whole being is dried up; there is nothing at all except this manna before our eyes!”

We have the whole story before us and we can see everything in hindsight. We think that they made such bad choices about what to grumble about. Didn’t they trust God enough to know that He was going to keep His word. Hadn’t Moses told them that God had said He was going to lead them to the promised land. He was going to free them from all the years of slavery, for goodness sake! Couldn’t they just open their ears and listen?

Aren’t we like those Israelites a lot of the time? Don’t we complain about all the hard times we have to go through? We grumble and we become disconcerted, we question and doubt our faith. We think that God has forgotten all about us. We start making our own plans because we think that God’s promises are long forgotten.

James 1:5-8, If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

Here it talks of the waves that are driven and tossed by the wind. You can’t tell what a wave is going to do in a storm. They are just wild and dangerous. We are wild and dangerous too when we doubt. Our minds are like a stormy sea without any stability at all. I certainly don’t want to be known as double-minded and unstable.

2 Samuel 22:32, For who is God, except the Lord? And who is a rock, except our God?

Psalm 62:2, He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be greatly moved.

1 Thessalonians 3:8, For now we live, if you stand fast in the Lord.

If we want to call ourselves Christians, or believers, or disciples of Christ, we are expected to stand firm in our faith and not waver when times are tough.

Romans 8:28, And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

When it feels like we are in hot water, we should recall what the Israelites went through in the desert and remember that, just like God had a plan for them that they could not see, He also has a plan for us. We cannot see the whole plan but we have to take Him at His word and persevere because He is good and He loves us and His plans are always for our good.