The Bible presents life as it really is. Scripture stories are about people who do the same stupid things that I find myself doing. I am encouraged by this.
In Exodus 17 we have the Nation of Israel in the desert and in need of water. This is a real need, especially in an arid climate. The need is not the problem. How the people went about getting that need met became an issue.
These are the same people who had witnessed the plagues that bought their freedom. These are the same people who saw the water of the Red Sea parted so that they could cross. These are the same people who followed the cloud which gave them shade in the day. These are the same people who camped near the pillar which would provide warmth and light through cold desert nights. The point is that the God that they followed had a track record of meeting their needs in a spectacular way.
Like us (perhaps I should only speak for myself, but I don’t think I’m alone in this) Israel gave in to fear and started grumbling against Moses and against God. Their fear caused them to forget the past provision and the promise that God would see them through to the promised land. They even went so far as to declare that they would have been better off in slavery!
There was a choice made, conscious or not, to see only the immediate problem. They were near sighted and could not see beyond their circumstances. Sound familiar? It does for me. They should have had a bigger view, but they were too much like us. Spiritual myopia is not a new problem.
The great news is that God did provide for their need of water in a miraculous way, in spite of their grumbling and rebellion. He will do the same for us.
So then, what is the antidote to fear, grumbling and myopia?
- The antidote to fear is trust. I need to trust in the God who has been found faithful. He has made promises to me that he will fulfill.
- The antidote to grumbling is thankfulness. I need to thank God for his provision and learn to be content in that provision.
- The antidote to spiritual myopia is Scripture. The Bible allows me to focus on a bigger perspective I need to see God at work in me and in my world.
In Matthew 6, we are promised that our needs (not our wants) will be met. In some of his last words from Earth, Jesus tells us that he will always be with us in Matthew 28:20. These are two promises out of many where God declares his good intent toward us who believe.
I do not need to manipulate God or others to get my needs met. I do need to bring my needs to my Heavenly Father and trust that he will meet them in his time and in his way. He can handle it.