What we miss out on when we’re busy complaining
From Numbers: A 5-Week Devotional
We all know someone who complains all the time. Someone who says “Nothing ever goes my way” or “Every time I order something it always gets messed up.” This person is never happy and always has something negative to say. The struggle to be content isn’t a new concept. Thousands of years ago, God’s people fought the same battle we do today — it just looked a little different.
God promised to save Israel from hardship and slavery in Egypt, and He made good on His promise. In Exodus 15, the Israelites sang to God thanking Him for rescuing them. They were full of excitement about their next journey. Numbers picks up where Exodus leaves off, following Israel’s journey to the promised land.
The journey, while God-ordained and led, was not easy. And often, the same is true for us. When God opens the door for us to a new and exciting adventure, it doesn't mean everything will fall perfectly into place.
The Israelites asked for food in the desert, and God literally rained down bread from heaven. But over time, the miraculous became mundane. In Numbers 11, the Israelites started to complain.
“Oh, for some meat!” they exclaimed. “We remember the fish we used to eat for free in Egypt. And we had all the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic we wanted. But now our appetites are gone. All we ever see is this manna!” (Numbers 11:4-6).
Sometimes, we can be like the Israelites, complaining about the same thing we used to celebrate. God has blessed us and given us everything we need. If we don’t recognize the good things God has already given us, then we’ll never be content with what we have. While complaining leads to thirsting for more being thankful leads to joy.
- Do you see a pattern of complaining in your life? What’s one step you can take to complain less today?
- How can you be more grateful for the things you have and not want "more"?