Are You Facing a Mountain?

Jen’s Gem: Give thanks each day.

A few days ago, we ushered in a new year. However, if you read through the headlines or your social media feeds, it feels a bit like Ground Hog Day as our world continues to battle the virus and other challenges that have lingered on longer than any of us would’ve expected.

Is 2022 going to be yet another trip around the same old mountain? 

I’m reminded of the Israelites who were led out of bondage by Moses. Four hundred years they labored as slaves under Egyptian rule. Four hundred years! Imagine how they must’ve felt packing up their bags knowing they were headed to the Promised Land. What a joyous day!

Not long after their departure, they hit a roadblock. Well, more like a Red Sea block. (Clearly Moses did not have the Waze app on his phone enabling him to find an alternate route.) The Israelites freaked out, cursed Moses, and many noted that they should’ve never left Egypt. However, when God parted the Red Sea so they could go through, they rejoiced.

But their joy didn’t last.

When food supplies ran low, again they revolted against Moses declaring his inability to feed the multitudes and bemoaning their situation. God sent manna (bread) from heaven to feed them. All was well with the world for a while. It wasn’t long before they began to despise their Instacart delivered meals and the complaint meter was off the charts once again.

It took forty years for these “stiff-necked people” as they are referred to in the Bible to get to the land that God had promised them. It should’ve taken them eleven days. Yes. You read that right. Eleven days.

What took so long? The answer is simple. When you complain, you remain. The Israelites complained so they remained. 

You see, instead of having an attitude of gratitude every single day of their lives, the Israelites boo-hooed their circumstances. They moaned about free food and water. They whined about having to wear the same clothes and shoes. They rebelled against their leader.

In short, they’d forgotten God’s promise. They took their eyes off of God and focused squarely on what was in front of them each day. They walked by sight, not by faith. This is not what God wanted them to do nor is it what He wants from us today.

Walking by faith doesn’t mean you deny what’s going on around you and put your head in the sand. It means that even though the world may be going cray cray, you put your trust in God that He will get you through. God rewards those who diligently seek Him. He does not reward those who complain.

God blessed the Israelites with a b-zillion blessings. Freedom. Food. Water. Clothes. Yet they still complained. It wasn’t enough. They wanted more.

If we’re not careful, we can fall into that same trap – taking our blessings for granted. This is why we need to remind ourselves every day about what’s good in our lives because every good thing comes from God.

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” (James 1:17 NKJV)

Human nature wants us to focus on what we don’t have. God wants us to focus on what we do have. Our individual circumstances may not currently be rainbows and butterflies, but when we put our faith and trust in God, He will bring us through the Red Seas of our lives to His Promised Land.

I want to encourage you to start each day with a grateful heart. Before your toes hit the floor, thank God for another day. Thank Him for your health, your job, your home, your loved ones. When you are tempted to whine, replace those complaints with a prayer of thanks.

Then watch your mountains move and your Red Seas part!

“For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.” (Mark 11:23 NKJV)

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