Moses and the group with him who’ve fled from Egypt are thirsty and grumpy and they’re beginning to wonder if God is even paying any attention to their plight.
That ever happened to you? You heard God’s call to do something. You decided it was worth the risk; after all it was from God. But now God seems distant and things aren’t going so smoothly. Then you begin to grumble and gripe, maybe to God or maybe to the pastor or maybe to the chair of whatever group is responsible for leadership.
After a while, just like Moses, they can’t bear to hear one more gripe or complaint and they take it up with God, too.
Why do we do that? Have we forgotten the stories of the Israelites trek through the Sinai? Do we really think God would abandon us? Or maybe our faith in God’s power has begun to wane. Maybe it’s our humanness and we just can’t help it.
Still, if we believe what we hear and read in the Bible wouldn’t you think we’d not be so quick to complain?
You’d think so but you can ask Linda to verify this, I’m pretty good at complaining myself. It seems we have plenty to complain and gripe about these days, the government, the weather, taxes, politicians, the newspaper delivery guy, the service at fast food places, the neighbors, people who walks their dogs and don’t pick up after them, cats that roam through your flower beds, the roads, the schools, kids today, other peoples kids…the list could go on and on.
So, do you have a name for your quarrelling and testing place? Moses gave a name to the rock where God told him to go and get water, Massah and Meribah. Here they quarreled and tested God. Where do we complain, gripe, and test God?
When we’re calm and the ranting has subsided and we begin to think a little more about what we’ve been saying, what is it that we wish our community, our church were like? Can we describe it and, with God’s help, is it possible?
If we trusted in God’s grace what kind of reality could we create? Can we picture a place where both the strong and the weak could gather knowing that God will provide for their every need?
You know we heard that we aren’t going to live on this spinning orb forever. We only have a limited amount of time to accomplish things. How will we be remembered? When we’re no longer here what names will folks call us?
This week as you spend time with God consider the times in your life that were dry places where God seemed distant and doubts about his ability to take care of you crept in. And then reflect on the fact that God said that he is always with us, especially when our eyesight has grown poor. When we’re the thirstiest we’ve ever been is when the living water that Jesus spoke of is so refreshing. In our desert places God reveals himself to us, usually when we’ve just about given up hope.
My friends, pray to God this week to fill us all with the living water promised to us in Jesus Christ. Thanks be to God for his grace. Amen.