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Day Thirteen

The Lord answered Moses, “Go out in front of the people. Take with you some of the elders of Israel and take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. I will stand there before you by the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it for the people to drink.” So Moses did this in the sight of the elders of Israel. And he called the place Massah and Meribah because the Israelites quarreled and because they tested the Lord saying, “Is the Lord among us or not?”
Exodus 17:5-7

Do you wake up grumpy in the morning?  All of us from time to time find ourselves complaining, grumbling, murmuring. We’ve long since moved past the simple suggestion, the constructive criticism. Truth be told, we’re fed up, and we’re going to let everyone know it. If you’ve ever felt that way, you’re in good company. The Israelites left behind 400 years of slavery in Egypt, but because of their grumbling and their distrusting in God, he allowed them to wander in the desert for 40 more years before they would enter the Promised Land.

Today’s story doesn’t occur in the 39th year of wandering, as you might expect. No, it’s just a few months into their new life as a nation that they complain. And as we look at their complaints, along with God’s response, we can learn some things about ourselves and about our God.  What do we learn about ourselves? We don’t like conflict. We like our needs met. We’re not afraid to voice our opinions. We would like to believe that we are large and in charge.

Did you catch this true story in Reader’s Digest? Arthur Bundrage approached a bank teller in Syracuse, New York five years ago and demanded $50,000. When he got home, he discovered he’d been shortchanged. Outraged, he stormed back to the bank to tell them what he thought of their service. And that’s when he was arrested. What do we learn about God? God resolves conflict. God meets our needs, not our wants. God is large enough to take care of every need and be in charge of our lives.

Max Lucado writes, “God had resources they knew nothing about, solutions outside their reality, provisions outside their possibility. They saw the scorched earth; God saw heaven’s breadbasket. They saw dry land; God saw a covey of quail behind every bush. They saw problems; God saw provision. Anxiety fades as our memory of God’s goodness doesn’t.”  Take your problems to God. Take your anxieties to God. The same God who provided water for the Israelites is the same God who will provide for you!