I think I may have mentioned before how I love to listen to audio books. This week I started listening to one I had heard before years ago, "The Book of God" by Walter Wangerin Jr. It is the bible, written as a novel. If you have never read it, I highly recommend it. It is written in such a way that truly brings the people alive in your mind. It really brings the truth of the word and the fragility of the human mind and spirit into sharp focus for me, reminding me that what was true all those years ago is still true today. Humans are weak, we stray from God and fall away. God is faithful and forgiving, picking us up, dusting us off, and returning us to the path again and again.
The story of the Israelites wandering the desert caught my attention this week and has not left me alone. Specially, how God provided Manna for their daily needs. (Exodus Chapter 16) They were so ungrateful! God has just picked them up out of bondage, overcome their captors, pushed back the red sea and is leading them through the desert to the promised land. When they begin to complain about hunger, God feeds them with bread from heaven! Can you imagine it?!? Food raining down from the sky. All they have to do is go outside and pick it up. That's it. No hunting, not plowing land or harvesting crops. No work involved at all. But before long the people get tired of this miracle and it seemed to them to be not so miraculous anymore. How horrible, how childish, how completely ungrateful! It seems to me that God's chosen people are spoiled brats!
I think maybe I just described myself.
I am not rich. I don't live in a big, beautiful home or wear designer fashions. By American standards of living I am poor. But when I am hungry there is food in the kitchen. When I am hot I turn down the air conditioning, when I am cold (which is almost never) I turn on the heat. I have a job, and good health insurance. I have a flat screen TV, an mp3 player, books to read, a phone to call or text a friend. I have a car to drive, and my husband has a truck. I could go on and on. I am literally covered up in blessings, my own personal manna from heaven. How often do I truly appreciate it? More often than not I am not looking at what I have, but what I want.
Sounds like I have a lot more in common with the Israelites than I might want to admit.....
Father, forgive me for ignoring all the blessings that surround me. My eyes are blinded, and all I can see is my lack. But you have blessed me with the riches of this land, and so much more importantly, with the unending mercy and grace of your love. Move my heart to better appreciate my blessings and to use those blessings to your glory. Thank you for all that you have given. All that you have sacrificed for me. I love you Lord. My love is a feeble thing by comparison with yours, but it is the deepest and most powerful gift I possess. It is yours, take it and use it daily.