*Years of enslavement in Egypt which were unpleasant to say the very least.
*Living through some of the plagues that afflicted the Egyptians when Moses was trying to free them from enslavement.
*Being hungry, thirsty, and uncomfortable as they wander through strange places, not knowing where their next meal is going to come from.
*Parents worried about their children as they most likely listen to them cry because of hunger pains. As a parent, the thought of this tugs at my heartstrings.
So, what have I learned from this group of wanderers?
But that is why God is God and He is perfect. He is perfectly patient and perfectly merciful and we see that being exhibited in His interactions with the Israelites. After the first dozen times of non-stop whining, He could have said, "You know what? I'm done. Enjoy your time in the wilderness. I have blessed you and helped you and for what? More complaining?"
But, He didn't. He kept blessing them. He kept giving them chance after chance after chance to turn to Him, to learn from their mistakes, and to make changes in their lives. As a parent, this helps me to see where I can improve in patience and mercy as I encounter frustrating times with my children. As a child of God, this helps me to know that God loves me, no matter how many times I turn away from Him, forget Him, or whine and complain.
This has caused me to think about how many times the Lord has given me an opportunity to humble myself before Him and I haven't taken it because I think I know better than Him. (Ugh. The natural man/woman in us, am I right?)
The thing that is interesting is that most of the time, when we do not take the opportunity to humble ourselves on our own accord, we actually make things harder for ourselves. Look at the Israelites and the poisonous serpents that the Lord sent down to "humble them". All they had to do to save themselves from dying from the bite of the poisonous serpents was look at the brass serpent that Moses had been instructed to make. They just had to look up! That's it! It wasn't a difficult thing to do! (Numbers 21:5-9).
I think I'm more like the Israelites than I want to admit.
Thankfully, though, the Lord is just as patient and merciful to me as He was to the Israelites. He gives me chance after chance after chance and man, I am so thankful for that. I need those chances and I need His love and mercy in my life.
I am loving my second chance at life.
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Copyright Desirae Ogden, www.desiraeogden.com, 2015.
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