“And wherefore (why) have ye made us to come up out of Egypt, to bring us in unto this evil place? it is no place of seed (grain), or of figs, or of vines, or of pomegranates; neither is there any water to drink.”Numbers 20:5
I was let go from a job that I thought I would have forever, and in some ways it was like a dream job. I got a job at our local church which I did not seek, but God gave me that job for that season in my life. I started off by running a small Christian school for three years, and then transitioned into being an assistant pastor, which sounds more important that it was. I did not always see things equally with my pastor who was now my boss, and I would complain about things and be ungrateful for the job I had. The job I once loved was now burdensome at times, and my attitude was not what it should have been.
I was given a two-week severance, and I thought that would be plenty of time for me to find a new job. I had a college degree and soon, employers would be lining up to hire me, or so I thought. I called people I knew that might have possible leads, but I came up empty and days quickly turned into weeks. No one cared about my degree, and I received a job offer that was below anything I had made in the last ten years. I began to pray for a job like I needed one, and I lost faith in what I could do. I was so desperate for a job that I was willing to do almost anything. I look back and think I maybe should have been more specific in my request as I did not see what the future would bring. God heard my plea and He led me into a situation that only He could have led me to.
I saw an old church friend at the gym, and he gave me a contact that led me into the world of retail. I did not know all that I was getting into, but I did not care at that moment as I was just grateful to have a job. I skimmed through the details of the job, and I could not wait to get started. I was thanking God for answered prayer, and I was not even fazed by the 3:45am start. I thought I would figure that all out, but as the months wore on, I again lost my gratefulness for the job God had given me. I complained at every opportunity, and I forgot about the person I was who was desperate for a job. I blamed God for the predicament I was in, and I was not a pleasant person to be around. I made things hard on my family, and I even forgot how grateful I was to have my wife and kids.
If you would have heard me, I imagine I would have sounded much like the children of Israel. I was ungrateful for my job and I was longing for unemployment again just as the children of Israel longed to go back to slavery and Egypt. They forgot about the Promised Land and the promises of God and they only focused on the hardships of the moment. We often are the same way and we look at our undesirable past and see it as if it was something good. We forget about God’s goodness and answers to prayer, and we focus on the small picture instead of the big one. Our gratefulness turns to complaining and anger, and our good God does not seem so good after all. We forget about the Red Sea moments and the manna that fell from heaven. The answered prayer becomes an evil place to us, and I am as guilty as the Israelites were for having this type of attitude.
Where are you today friend? Do you long for the days of old that were not so golden? Do you glorify sin and long for the sinful days of your past? Do you complain about your situation even though it was an answer to your prayer? Have you lost your grateful spirit? May we stop our complaining and instead put our energy into being grateful. God hates complaining, but He is pleased when His children are grateful. May our hearts be grateful no matter the situation, and may we trust in the sovereignty of our great and good God. God always knows best and His way is always perfect.