How do you react when something doesn’t go your way?
I’ve noticed that even when I’m on cloud nine after a mountaintop experience—whether a conference, retreat, or vacation—all it takes is some small annoyance and a fountain of complaints begin spewing from my mouth.
How quickly our fickle hearts are exposed by our words.
In Exodus 16 the Israelites had just come from a mountaintop experience. After wandering in the wilderness for three days without any water, God led them to the desert resort of Elim.
But just after they left Elim they entered the wilderness of Sin. Complaints poured from their mouths as their stomachs rumbled with hunger. They quickly focused their whining on the two men who were leading them, Moses and Aaron. Moses rebukes the Israelites because their complaints against him and his brother are ultimately against God.
Sometimes we do the same sort of thing, don’t we?
We need to remember the One who is sovereign over every interruption and unsavory circumstance in our lives. When we grumble, we’re really telling God that we know better, that our plan should win out.
He is not unaware of your child’s temper tantrums or your overbearing relative or your tight budget. Instead, he’s using these trials to shape us and cause us to rely on His all-sufficient grace. He’s working in our lives for our good and his glory.
So the next time you’re tempted to open your mouth in complaint, pray for the Lord to put a guard over your mouth and keep you from making the same mistake as the Israelites. Instead, ask him to fill your heart and mouth with gratitude, to bring glory to the Lord over all.