The Exodus reading (Exodus 16:2-4, 12-15) for the weekend of August 2, 2015, reveals some pretty basic human qualities that we can relate to. The Israelites “grumbled” because they did not feel they were being taken care of as well as when they were in slavery. They were in uncharted territory and didn’t have a clue where they were going or how long it would take to get there. Like sheep, they had blindly followed Moses out of Egypt. Now they wondered why they had decided to make this change in their lives and follow this God who was supposed to care about them. They were given one day’s worth of food and nothing extra. What was so great about that?
Sometimes we are satisfied to be taken care of on the most basic physical level and change brings about challenges. When life goes along smoothly (the bills are paid, the marriage is happy, the kids are doing well, everyone is healthy, etc…), we don’t have a great need for God. We might kindly thank him for our blessings, but there is nothing too distressing, so we take our situations for granted. Life is good.
But when life throws us a curve, we often find ourselves “grumbling” to God about it. “Hey God, everything was going well. Why did things have to change? Why do I have to relocate because I lost my job? I can’t believe I’m having such health issues. I thought my marriage was going well, but it’s not. I was doing everything right and I thought you were taking care of me.”
At some point, we can all relate to the Israelites. The message is pretty clear. Trust in God in good times and bad. Be grateful for what you have. Your faith will sustain you when you rely on God. Can we recognize the gifts God offers us even in the midst of our circumstances and situations? Can we find the grace, the giftedness, in change and challenges? It’s always good to be reminded of God’s love and care for us.
Gloria Nolan, Pastoral Minister