Now the mixed multitude who were among them yielded to intense craving; so the children of Israel also wept again and said: “Who will give us meat to eat? We remember the fish which we ate freely in Egypt, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic; but now our whole being is dried up; there is nothing at all except this manna before our eyes!” — Numbers 11:4-6
These three verses recount one of the many instances in which the children of Israel – during their exodus from Egypt to the Promised Land – found themselves complaining about the trying nature of their circumstances. Despite the numerous and amazing miracles that they saw The Lord perform on their behalf when He liberated them from bondage, they seemed quick to complain, rather than trusting God, when the challenges of their journey became overwhelming.
Hate to say it, but the tendency to become unappreciative, and even critical of that which The Lord has provided, is not exclusive to Old Testament Israel. It’s a habit that is common today. For example, conflict and adversity can cause us (husbands and wives) to become a bit short-sighted. Just as the children of Israel forgot how desperately they wanted freedom from slavery, once their food and water options became limited, we can also forget how excited we were to get married, once the joy of romance gives way to friction in our marital interactions.
Read further in Numbers 11 or, for that matter, read all of Exodus though Numbers; you’ll find that rather than shielding His people from hardships, The Lord sought to refine their ability to trust Him by deliberately bringing them face to face with those between-the-enemy-and-the-Red-Sea predicaments. He develops our spiritual maturity in the same way; by leading us through the very difficulties that test, reveal, and strengthen our faith.
This week’s challenge: Do you see your spouse as God’s divine provision for you? Today, is your spouse someone you desire… or despise? If you have legitimate concerns about a lack of harmony in your marriage, instead of letting those concerns turn into complaints (or longings for the life you left) we encourage you to trust The Lord! Consider looking to Him for wisdom and direction, with Philippians 4:6-7 in mind: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”