“And the Lord said unto Moses, How long will this people provoke (reject) me? and how long will it be ere (before) they believe me, for all the signs which I have shewed (performed) among them?”Numbers 14:11
I was born into a family that was a party of three until I made it a party of four. My sister often jokes that things were perfect until the day I came from the womb. My sister is almost six years older than me and although it does not seem like a big gap now, you can imagine how it could be growing up with a little brother six years your junior. I remember her getting me out of my bed, and she would ask me to sleep with her as I believe she was scared. I am sure she thought I was cute at the beginning of our brother/sister relationship, but this evidently wore off and a baby brother monster was born.
We lived life without a television for a time, and I took that as an invitation to spend time with my sister. I saw it as quality time, but she saw it through a different lens. My sister loved to read, and I loved to bug her all the time. I was curious to see what she was doing, and I sometimes liked to push her buttons once I knew where they were located. I think back to the many faces she gave me, and I will describe them as: angry, frustrated, provoked, and “I am going to yell ‘mom!’ if you do not leave my room immediately”. I am not sure why I was such a pest, but at times, it was simply a way to pass the time. My maturity level was quite low, and my behavior toward my sister brought pain upon my backside as the board of education was applied.
I hope I don’t still get on my sister’s nerves, and I wish I could go back and not be so bothersome to her. I remember making her so angry, and I know she would have taken me to the Goodwill if they were accepting nagging brothers. I seemed to provoke her the most when my parents were not home as I knew I had free reign for a couple of hours. She would play the role of big sister, and I would get into character of all-time pest. I did not realize my parents would soon be home, and I would get a spanking for the shenanigans I performed while they were gone. I was not a quick learner in this way, and I paid the price for it. The worst part was when I really hurt my sister and the tears came down her face. I wanted to be a pest, but even I had boundaries I did not want to cross. She would lock her bedroom door on me and cut me off from all communication. I would beg her to let me in, but I knew I had gone too far at that point.
It is one thing to provoke a sister, and it is quite another to provoke almighty God. The children of Israel held disbelief in what God could do, even though He had told them of the Promised Land. They had seen the Red Sea parted and they were fed with food that fell from the sky. He had guided them by a cloud during the day and by a pillar of fire at night, yet they still desired more. I am not sure what other signs they wanted, but it seemed to them that God had not done enough to prove Himself. They rejected God in their unbelief, and I know I am sometimes guilty of the same. I have the full Bible with accounts of all that God has done, but yet I have doubted God many times myself.
Where are you today? Do you doubt God? Are you filled with unbelief? Do you worry about the sickness of today and the rumor of wars? May we put our trust fully in God, and may we not waver with the fears and whispers of the Devil. The devil will seek to cast doubt, but God desires that we rest in Him as He gives us peace. May we live in full dependence on God, and may we not provoke Him and reject Him with our unbelief. Our God is trustworthy and He is the One we must always trust. Our dollar bill says, “In God We Trust” and may that always be a reminder of where our trust needs to be.