In the last month there have been two bouts of the stomach flu, a cavity, a concussion and the very latest, a car accident.
You should know, the car accident came at quite an inconvenient time for me. When I was already embarrassingly behind on the laundry, and my patience was already wearing thin (Read: borderline translucent.) When between cleaning up vomit and talking with the insurance company, I was struggling to finish (an already reaaaaally late) writing assignment.
Which explains why I declared to my husband, that I just needed a break, as I stormed out of the house that night. — Only to 3 minutes later and a mile down the street, get in a car accident! Go freaking figure.
And with the car accident, came a weeks worth of whiplash — and complaining! Not in the moment of course, because I was grateful for our safety. But around the time the headaches came raging (whiplash is no joke!) and when the medical bills and the laundry…kept… piling…. That, is when my frustrations finally erupted!
…Revealing to everyone watching, my ‘Israelite-ishness.’ (It’s a thing. At least for me it is.)
Because like the Israelites in the Bible, I can tell stories of the amazing things I have seen God do with my own eyes. (If you remember, I wrote about a handful of them just last week.)
…But then in my Israelite-ishness, I sorta forgot.
Exodus 16:22-24 says, “Then Moses led the people of Israel away from the Red Sea [their miracle]… They traveled in the desert for 3 days without finding any water. When they came to the oasis of Marah, the water was too bitter to drink…
…then the people complained.”
Like me, the Israelites trusted God immensely… but only momentarily. (3 days is all it took for them to forget what God did for them, a mere one blog post for me.)
But in Exodus 15:25 I found something surprising that addressed my complaining head-on, it says, “It was there at Marah that the Lord set before them the following decree as a standard to test their faithfulness to him.”
Notice, God didn’t test their faithfulness to Him in their hopelessness while they were waiting for the miracle at the foot of the Red Sea. Nor, did He choose to test their faithfulness while they were praising Him for delivering them from their darkest days…
The Lord tested the Israelites faith in Marah — after they had experienced God’s amazing power for themselves, and just when the awe and wonder of what God had done was just beginning to wear off and lose its ‘new car smell’ amid the muddiness of ordinary life.
I believe God does the same thing with us, checking in when the laundry is piling, and the bank account is in the red. Wondering by our attitudes and our questions, if we still remember His greatest works on the deepest seas, and His deliverance that came not a moment too late.
It is there, God either finds us faithful, or that we’ve forgotten.
And this last week, I had (so obviously) forgotten…
In Romans 15:17 Paul puts it this way, ‘I have reason to be enthusiastic about all Christ Jesus has done.’
“What are your reasons to be enthusiastic? ” God pressed over these last couple days,”…Do you still remember all that I have done?”
Um, duh. Of course, God… I listed them off in a blog post last week — I even included pictures!
“…Then where is your enthusiasm?”
God was right.
Because (though you wouldn’t know it from all of my complaining this last week) I have so many reasons to be enthusiastic about all that Jesus has done in my life and my heart!
– We all do! –
Each of us could share story after story, of prayers that have been answered, and of dark days we were certain we wouldn’t make it through (and yet ironically, here we are. Using the very miracle it is to still have breathe in our lunges, to complain. Or maybe I am the only one?)
Each of us have been entrusted with our own set of miracles, and with it, reason upon reason that like untapped potential could either infuse everything we do with enthusiasm, or with the demands of daily life be devastatingly forgotten.
In this life, there will be days inevitably spent in the desert. Moments, like Marah, that will leave us with a bitter taste in our mouth.
There will be inconveniences, extra expenses, and prayers that – for now – may be left unanswered. There may even be cavities, concussions and car accidents (maybe even a little whiplash.)
The question is, will we stay grateful? Will we choose to remain enthusiastic about all Jesus has done in the past, in order to remind ourselves He is forever worthy of our trust in the future?
“Because the Israelites kept complaining,” God pointed out to me.
“…Will you? ”