Don’t Curse Your Blessings

  • It’s the weekend before Thanksgiving, but I’m not going to write about being thankful. Instead, my topic is not being cranky about what God has given you.
  • Hands helping themselves to some ham, surrounded by other dishes.Thanksgiving is known for two things: getting together with family and great eating. We each have our favorite foods, like sweet potatoes, corn bread, cranberry sauce and pecan pie. My father died in August 1984—the same week as Richard Burton. So Thanksgiving for many years was just the three of us, my older brother Chris, my mom and me. A great cook, Mom always roasted a turkey with all the fixings. But one day all of us realized we preferred roast beef instead. Instantly a new holiday tradition began in the Hall household. Mom never cooked a turkey again, for either Thanksgiving or Christmas.
  • Mongolia desert with dry, rocky terrain.Because I live here in America, I am used to a rich and varied diet. So there’s some sneaking sympathy in my heart for the Israel’s dietary complaints while wandering the wilderness. But all they did was grumble. Worse, they complained about the divine, supernatural meal God provided every day.
  • They cursed God’s blessing.
  • The rabble with them began to crave other food, and again the Israelites started wailing and said, “If only we had meat to eat! 5 We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost—also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic. But now we have lost our appetite; we never see anything but this manna!” (Numbers 11:4-6) NIV
  • In response, God provided enough quail to eat for a month, along with a plague. The funny thing is, instead of cursing God’s blessing–the miraculous provision of manna–Moses’ people could have simply prayed very sweetly, asking their Divine Guide for some meat. God would have delighted to answer such a prayer.
  • A later verse is even worse:
  • 4 …But the people grew impatient on the way; 5 they spoke against God and against Moses and said, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!” (Num 21:4-6) NIV

  • corn-snake-hiking boot pix med (2)What if we served an impatient, vindictive god? A divine being who would take back any blessing we complained about? “You loath manna? You don’t have to eat it any more–I won’t even send it. Please feel free to eat the grass–or anything else that looks tasty.”
  • This past week I couldn’t help visualizing American Christians physically wandering in the wilderness, following after God. Ugh! (I think I shuddered.) In a straight up contest, we would smoke Moses’ people in the grumbling Olympics. When our air conditioning goes out, we whine. If we miss recording our favorite shows or can’t get a phone signal, it’s a tragedy. Small desert dwelling animal, looking around.Most of us aren’t used to bugs, heat, cold or physical hardships of any kind. In fact, the only Americans toughened up enough to live under hard conditions might be our military. The rest of us tend to deal poorly with our little ‘first world problems’–like too much mustard on our burger or cold french fries.
  • Confession time; I am just as guilty of grumbling and complaining as everyone else in our culture. So this post challenges me too.
  • As Christ followers we need to reflect our Master. Jesus leaving Heaven and coming to earth had to be the greatest culture shock of all time. Talk about a downgrade! But our Savior never complained, whined or grumbled. When Jesus faced the horror of the cross and his flesh was screaming, He became markedly more silent.
  • It was one of the last tests Jesus needed to pass to save the world.
  • Here are some Faithful Wanderer challenges:
  • Challenge #1:
  • Invest fifteen minutes of your time this week and think about this question. Do you curse any of the blessings the Lord has given you? In other words, do you complain about stuff you originally asked God for, like a husband or children or a new job or a bigger house?
  • Challenge #2:
  • In the next few days, come up with 5 blessings in your life you’ve never thanked God for. Want to be an overachiever? Raise the number to 10, 15 or 25.
  •  Have a great God-drenched Thanksgiving.
  • All images were downloaded from Pixabay.com.
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