Wednesday, October 28, 2009

contentment

"The rabble with them began to
crave other food,
and again the Israelites
started wailing and said,
"If only we had meat to eat!"
Numbers 11:4 (NIV)

This morning in Liam's Bible class, he was learning about the Israelites time in the desert. As I listened to the story, I remembered again why it's important not to dismiss the Old Testament and assume it's no longer applicable to my life today.

The Lord was using the Israelite's time in the desert in order to prepare them for the great blessings He had for them in the Promised Land.
God rained down manna from Heaven and required only that they collect enough to eat for that day. No fire, no meal preparation, no clean-up. Not even chewing was required! The manna was sweet like honey and melted in their mouths.

But, manna wasn't good enough. They longed for the foods they enjoyed in Egypt, while they were slaves. And so they complained. (Actually, the NIV translations says they wailed. Even better, I mean worse.)

If you're not familiar with the story, God Almighty was far from pleased with their lack of gratefulness. His track record with His chosen people was awesome (as in truly awe-inspiring,) up until this point.
And yet, the Israelites still doubted God's best for them. They wanted what they wanted, when they wanted it.

I think what infuriated the Lord the most was their inability to be content with what He had already blessed them with. Those who chose to whine did in fact receive their meat, but that was all they enjoyed.

"But while the meat was still between their teeth and before it could be consumed, the anger of the LORD burned against the people, and he struck them with a severe plague. Therfore the place was named Kirbroth Hattaavah, because there they buried the people who craved other food."
(Numbers 11:33,34 NIV)

The key point of Liam's lesson today was contentment, and let me tell you, my spirit was deeply convicted.

The chances of quail raining down from the sky is pretty slim, thankfully. But, you see, quail isn't on my prayer list today. I'll take an Ethiopian court date, breakthrough in my areas of struggle, and complete healing from the flu. (In that exact order.)

However, those things weren't God's best for me today. And yet, I am extremely blessed.
God desires me to be content with exactly what He has blessed me with today.

As much as I want what I want, I would rather be content with what the Lord has given me today. I want to believe in His impeccable track record. I would also like to be alive to enjoy the very best He has for me when He grants it.
Probably the wiser choice, wouldn't you say?

Oh, Friend. Contentment in this day and age is truly a challenge. There is very little that we are truly left wanting for. Even without money in the bank, a little piece of plastic can momentarily make are "dreams come true." And yet, as I try to teach my children daily, those things that we work hardest for, and wait to receive, are so much sweeter in the end than instant gratification.

And so, may God give us patience during the wait, wisdom to know God's best for us and faith to believe that His promises will always hold true.
(By the way, were you wondering why I chose the above photo? Well, that was me earlier today when I tried to ignore the painful truth about how much I have in common with the Israelites during their 40 long years in the desert!)

Today, I'll gladly gather my manna, allow my heart to be humbled and remember that in Christ I am truly LIVING A BLESSED LIFE!

Learning to be content, one day at a time,

1 comment:

Andrea said...

WOW! Looks like the Lord is teaching us the same lesson. Just posted something similar...you said it better though...LOL
Prayers for us both to be content with the MANY blessings God has already given us.
Andrea