Summer 2024

Daily Devotional: Thursday, May 30 - Complainers

“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” — Lamentations 3:22-23

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My wife and I just finished going through the Book of Exodus and we were discussing how much the Israelites grumbled throughout their journey. They especially complained while being under the rule of the king of Egypt, the Pharaoh. After some time, God heard their groaning and remembered His covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Exodus 2:24). God selected Moses to be the one to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, and even when Moses said “no,” God said “yes.” Then came the 10 plagues, Pharaoh’s release of the Israelites, God leading them by cloud and fire, the parting of the Red Sea, and the drowning of Pharaoh’s army. God saved the Israelites.

A short time later in their journey, water became extremely scarce, but instead of praying and asking God to help them find water, the Israelites complained. God responded by sweetening the water in a bitter pool. As more time went by, the people started complaining of not enough food, so God sent quail and manna. Again, water became scarce so God provided water from a rock. Then battles with the Amalekites took place, and once again God prevailed. The Israelites were saved. This continued for 40 years, wandering in the wilderness because of their stubbornness and complaining.

I share all of this to illustrate how unappreciative and unthankful the Israelites were during this time while God completely took care of them. But am I any different? Are you? The car needs repairs, I complain. The dryer only works occasionally, I complain. Why is my work building up so much? I complain. Why are my kids not doing their homework? Why does my wife not recognize my job is important? Or maybe for the athlete: Why didn’t I make that team? Why don’t I get as much playing time as I think I should? Why do we practice so much? Why was that call made against me? Why did I get injured after all that training? Why me?

Does any of this sound like you? I caught myself thinking what a bunch of complainers the Israelites were — yet I’m complaining about the things that are speed bumps in my life. So how would I have acted if I were with them during their time?

I started a prayer journal and an answered-prayer journal. I date all my specific prayers and date those prayers that are answered. Friends, God is so good and faithful, even with all my complaining. This small activity I do every day has completely changed my attitude from one of being not-so-pleased at times to an attitude of complete thankfulness. Our God blesses us in so many ways that we can’t record them all, because so many times we do not recognize His blessings.

All of us, especially me, need to stop letting our speed bumps become the most-talked-about thing of the day. While they might be huge at the moment, God has it under control if we allow Him to be our controller. We need to stop complaining and start looking for the faithfulness of our God. He comes through every time with the best solution — most likely not in our timeframe, though it could be in an instant. Let’s start looking for how God will fix the situation and not think about what a mess it might be.

Every once in a while, I will look back through my journal entries and I am overwhelmed with the faithfulness of my Lord to me and my family. I encourage you to try it — it may change your life and your love for the Lord beyond words.

— Jan Hethcock

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