My Grumbling Heart
“If only the Lord had killed us back in Egypt,” they moaned. “There we sat around pots filled with meat and ate all the bread we wanted. But now you have brought us into this wilderness to starve us all to death.” Exodus 16:3
This morning I was reading in Exodus and came to this verse, which is one of the many places the Israelites in the desert grumbled. As I read it I was so thankful for God’s patience with His people. I don’t know about you, but I am like those Israelites so often. God asks me to move and I’m hesitant and want to stay. God asks me to stay and I want to go. He asks me to do something in faith but it doesn’t feel like I think it should, so I find myself lamenting like an old school prophet at the destruction of Israel.
And in doing this, I don’t mean to be overly dramatic, but it’s just the honest state of my heart. I think of the clip from A Bug’s Life where a leaf falls in the middle of the line of ants. As soon as the ant can’t see the line it was following, he cries, “I’m lost!” An older ant comes to help him walk around the leaf but he doesn’t think he can. Lately this clip has been popping in my head a lot as I feel God calling me into deeper faith. I realized that for so long I thought the hardest part of following God was the initial stepping out. There’s many teachings and books on stepping out in faith. How many times do we hear about Peter stepping out on the water? And that initial stepping out can be hard, but what God has been asking me to do is keep walking on the water. He’s been asking me to stay the course when all the adrenaline of the new has worn off and the faith feeling boost from the initial step is gone. And man, it is harder than I thought it would be. I wrongly assumed once I made my big step of faith that I would easily continue on that path without a worry. I wrongly assumed I would just have a super charge of faith that made it feel easy. That’s not been the case... at all. I have found myself like that little ant crying out, “I’M LOST!!” or “Did I hear You right?” or “What are You doing?” or like the Israelites in the wilderness “Why didn’t You just leave me where I was?!?” Because when I am not in control and I have no clue what God is doing or more specifically how He is doing what He has put on my heart to pray and believe for, I don’t like how it feels. It’s the place when trusting feels hard and the free fall feels scary. So I curl up in my Heavenly Father’s lap, take a deep breath, sit with Him, let the beat of my heart once again align with His, and remember that He is good. He does have me. And like He took care of the Israelites and took them the long way for their protection, I once again have the feelings of faith. Being not in control doesn’t feel as scary because I know He is preparing the path and He will tell me when to take my next step.