Jen’s Gem: God’s blessings are for you.
This year I decided to read the Bible in chronological order. For the past few months, I’ve been immersed in the Old Testament stories of the creation, Noah, Moses, and the plights of many who inhabited the earth thousands of years ago. It’s fascinating, but honestly, surprisingly repetitive.
There’s a clear pattern of God blessing His people with unimaginable blessings, only for them to forget all about them when various challenges occurred.
For example, you’re likely familiar with the parting of the Red Sea and how God literally split the waters in order for His people to escape the atrocities of their 400-year enslavement in Egypt.
It wasn’t long after that the people began to grumble and complain about their situation. I’ve learned that their journey should’ve taken a couple of weeks, but because of their bad attitude and outright disobedience, it took forty years. But God never left them.
During this time, He supernaturally sent bread, water, and meat every single day to provide for them. God enabled them to conquer many lands. He multiplied their livestock, gold, land, and their families continuously, yet they regretted leaving Egypt and cursed Moses and those who followed him for leading them out of their pitiful existence.
Their lack of perseverance, willingness to work hard, obedience to a handful of God’s laws, and entitlement mentality reminds me a little of how the millennial generation is described. These amazingly creative, yet unbridled youth, expect the world to be handed to them on a silver platter and when it isn’t? Well, we’ve all seen those tantrums and it ain’t pretty. (I’m talking about their parents!)
As a Baby Boomer, growing up with parents who lived through The Great Depression, the stock market crash, and two World Wars, my life was anything but entitled. Now my older siblings will likely call me out on this as they tell story after story of their “enslavement” and me and my younger sister’s “Red Sea” moments. Sure, I did have it easier than they did, but it was by no means a silver platter existence.
Like many, it wasn’t until I was older and had children of my own that I realized just how much my parents did for me. I saw the sacrifices of my father who worked three jobs to support his family. I saw my mom, raising six children and never once complaining about how tired she must’ve been. Back then, you didn’t complain. You got up, did your job to the best of your ability, went to sleep, and did it again the next day. And you know what? You were grateful.
Gratitude is not something we humans are particularly good at. While we are appreciative at times, as soon as a trial hits us, we get amnesia. Without reminders on our phones or gratitude journals or Thanksgiving holidays, we can easily fall into the grumbling, complaining, whining mode that befell our ancestors thousands of years ago.
When our toddler behavior subsides, we look for someone to blame for our situation. Family members, friends, leaders, and bosses. It’s their fault. They’re the guilty ones, Your Honor. When we run out of humans to blame, then we turn our finger to God and He becomes the source of our troubles.
It’s His fault that we are broke or out of work or sick. It’s His fault that our relationships failed or we lost a loved one. It must’ve been His will. Before I began studying and understanding who God really is, those words repeatedly came out of my mouth.
“It must’ve been God’s will.”
Well, guess what? That’s a lie. It’s a lie that many have believed for generations. Even the Israelites believed it despite seeing miracles with their own eyes! I’d like to ask you a few questions to illustrate my point:
- Was it your parent’s will for you to be sick?
- Did your parent’s wish for you to be divorced?
- Did they want you to lose your job?
These questions border on the ridiculous and your answer to each is likely a resounding “No!” So if your earthly mother and father did not will for you to have a miserable life, why would your heavenly Father who created you? Logically, it makes no sense for God to create us and then plot and scheme for us to fail.
He literally promised us the exact opposite of failure! He promised the likes of Abraham that He would bless him and his heirs for generations and generations. Guess what? YOU and I are Abraham’s heirs! We are entitled to the same promises he had.
So yeah – you are just as entitled as the Millenials. You can have a temper tantrum when someone says the promises of God are not for you. If they don’t believe you, head on over to any book in the Bible and show them the proof.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
Humans are fickle, unfaithful, disobedient, and double-minded. Our Creator isn’t. He never goes back on His Word. He never changes His mind. He never breaks a promise. Never. Ever. Ever. To any generation.
This week, I’d like to encourage you to read Deuteronomy 28: 1-14. These handful of verses clearly state God’s will for his people, yesterday, today, and tomorrow. And yes. You’re entitled to every one of them.