My husband and I are reading through the Bible this year in our devotions. Right now we are working our way through the book of Numbers.
This morning I was thinking how the Israelites complained their way through the desert on their way to the Promised Land. They would face a difficulty, God would intervene and meet their need, then when the next problem arose, they started complaining again. My first thought was:
“How could they keep complaining?” Had God not met each need? What was wrong with them?
Then I thought of how easy I find it to complain.
We have had a few weeks of bitter cold and lots of snow. What is my first response?
- I can’t get out in this bitter cold
- I’m afraid I’m going to fall on the slick side walks
- The cloudy days are depressing
But why not be thankful:
- I have a warm house with warm clothes, warm car
- My backyard is beautiful – like a winter wonderland
- I’m retired so I don’t have to get out in this terrible weather
We recently moved from a nine-room house to a five-room house wanting to downsize as we age.
- The closets are so small there is not enough room for our clothes
- The bedrooms are so tiny
- I don’t like electric stoves
But why not be thankful:
- Having everything on one floor has meant not having to cope with stairs
- Thank God I have so many clothes
- Thank God I have a modern stove and other modern appliances
Why is it so easy to see the negative instead of the positive?
Looking at the story in Exodus and Numbers I think they complained because they were so quick to forget what God had done.
Is that my problem? I quickly forget what God has done for me.
“Lord I know you have saved me from the consequence of my sins and you have promised me your presence and guidance in all circumstances, but it’s cold outside, the sun is hidden behind the clouds and my favorite TV show has been cancelled for tonight.”
Let me remember:
- the wonderful children you have given me
- a husband who is also my best friend
- I’m still living almost 17 years after being diagnosed with advanced, aggressive cancer
- you protected me when the car I was driving was hit head-on by a young man driving way too fast
- how many friends you have given me through the years
- how you provided financial help when my husband was out of work
- how you allowed me to be born in a family where I was taught about God at an early age
- that you loved me so much you gave your only son that I might be saved
How about you? Do you see the glass half full or half empty?
Do you find it easier to complain than be thankful?
Very true. I complain all the time and I’m trying to stop but it’s hard.
Great post Barbara. I am truly learning to be more greateful and complain less. Sometimes I have to more be intentional because I instinctively sometimes move into the complaining zone
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This was a really good one, Barbara! And it really spoke about me! 🙂
I think many of us find it easier to see the negatives around us. Our media has that bent…maybe we learn it there. I know I get in a terrible rut of negativity when I take in too much mainstream news media.
But beyond that, it almost seems natural to be vocal about the things that upset or bother us. Imagine a world if the natural feeling was to vocalize the positives of life!
I am no better than your average Moses era Israelite, but this post reminded me to look harder toward the positives! Thank you!
I think it is something we all struggle with – not sure exactly why but I know I’m quick to see the negative and have to work on looking for the positive. I have found the best thing I can do when I get bogged down in negative thoughts is to start singing or listening to a praise song. Praising the Lord always bring a new view of things. Thank you for the kind remarks about the post.