Patience, Please. No Snakes.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018Numbers 21:4-9

"For there is no food and no water, and we detest this miserable food."

Read this account in Numbers of the Israelites in the Wilderness. There are several episodes where they lose their cool and give God and Moses what for. It is understandable. Go from captivity and oppression to being chased to being scared in a strange wilderness to being thirsty and hungry and homeless. Well, you get the picture.

Forty years is a long time for God to be teaching a lesson on trusting and obeying or even working out a promise. It doesn't take a lot of Lenten introspection to figure out that I would have surely been one of the complainers.

I wonder if Jesus lost his cool in the wilderness, too? But the comparison is a stretch: 40 years verses 40 days and a massive body of people verses one man. Different, but both still reinforcing a lesson on trusting and obeying.

How do you keep following or obeying, which are responses to trusting God, when circumstances fail to satisfy your wants (or needs)?

What are your spiritual cool-buster triggers? The passage points to some of those of the Israelites.

Who are those folks who ground you in hope and encourage you to press on?

Who can you encourage today on his or her wilderness journey?

Prayer: God, when we lose our cool, help us to know that we can come to you with all of our emotions and needs, and even our complaints. Please no snakes. In your patience, forgive and heal and provide and pull us along, until we get our footing. Amen.

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