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Posts Tagged ‘suffering’

Scripture:

Numbers 11:1 Now the people complained about their hardships in the hearing of the LORD, and when he heard them his anger was aroused. Then fire from the LORD burned among them and consumed some of the outskirts of the camp.

Observation:

The LORD takes the complaining of the heart seriously.

Application:

The people of Israel are known for their grumbling and complaining. But, let’s face it. I’m not any different. In fact, I can make a pretty good case that I am far worse. I sleep and work and live in climate controlled buildings. I am rarely hungry unless by my own will I forego food for the purpose of losing a few pounds. I enter a closet full of an array of choices for clothing my body. The moment I start to feel sick I head to a store full of medicines that will relieve my suffering.  I could continue, but I’ll stop for now. You get the point. How quickly I turn to grumbling when there is some bit of “suffering”. Let’s not even talk about real suffering for a moment… just something not happening that I would like.

Yesterday I was leaving work and heading to Sonic with 5 minutes of “happy hour” left in the day. A half-price Powerade slushy was what I decided I needed to finish off my work day. As I pulled away from the stoplight, I was sick to see police lights in my rearview mirror.  I turned the car off the road and found out from the nice policeman that my vehicle registration had expired in April. Did I grumble in my heart? Ummm… yeah… And it occurred to me that I was more upset that the policeman was doing his job than I was at my disorganization that led to the error. How messed up is that?

As I was reading these very words in Numbers this morning, I could sense a grumbling going on in my own heart. The irony was not lost on me. The words from the passage “in the hearing of the LORD” jumped out at me. What is not within the hearing of the LORD? I feel like I’ve done something if I can just keep the words from spilling off my lips. But the attitude is there. It’s in my heart. I feel wronged. The LORD is withholding something good that I need and desire. Am I not rebelling in that very moment? I am telling the LORD He is not good, He is not wise, and that He needs some help from me to run the universe. How offensive that is to a holy, good, loving and merciful Father. He’s withheld judgment from me for sins I have committed. He has placed the wrath I deserve on Jesus and given me His righteousness. Anything I receive from Him is a mercy. He owes me nothing. I owe Him everything. He is enough, no matter what the situation.

Prayer:

Father, thank you for your mercy. You are so good to me. Your goodness extends to Your willingness to let me experience the consequences of my own sin. Yet even in that, You do not leave me to experience it by myself. You are with me throughout everything that comes my way. Please continue to show me my inner attitudes and transform this heart that is quick to grumble into a heart that is grateful and thankful for each and every mercy.

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