Be Grateful For The Manna

"I really don't feel like doing this today"

"It's going to be way too stressful to work a part time job and be a full time college student"

"This video training is going to be so boring"

The complaints kept coming. It was the first day of my first job--video training day. Up until that day, I was pretty excited, but in those moments of the car ride there alongside my mother, the words kept slipping out of my mouth. Negativity filled the air. Grumble, grumble, complain, complain. It was as if I lost all gratitude, all excitement.

As if this job was a curse, rather than a blessing.

It's so easy to do that, isn't it? I'm generally pretty positive and seek to avoid complaining, but some days, it happens. Once the words start coming, it's like the domino effect from there. One complaint leads to many more complaints. All appreciation of God's provision is lost.

At first, I stepped into my workplace and forgot the ugly attitude I was wearing in the car ride there.  Once I began watching the videos, it wasn't long before God took hold of my heart and reminded me of how I was acting. In that moment, I could hear His still, small voice whispering: You were acting like the Israelites. Wasn't this job an answer to your prayers? Wasn't this job a provision from me, a provision even beyond what you expected?

In that moment, I was convicted of acting just like the Israelites did, after God rescued them from their enslavement in Egypt and provided food--manna--for them. Yet they began to complain that they were sick and tired of eating manna all the time. He provided, yet they grumbled:

“If only we had meat to eat! We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost—also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic. But now we have lost our appetite; we never see anything but this manna!Numbers 11:4-6

Seems like the Israelites were forgetting the days of misery they experienced in Egypt. They weren't remembering the complaints they spoke when God first rescued them, when they didn't have any food to eat. Yet God provided. They saw through eyes of dissatisfaction, rather than of gratitude.

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I realized that was me too. This job was not only provided by God, but happened in a way that pointed to His amazing power and love. I had been praying for insight about a part time job for many months, yet the offer basically came to me at the end of my 21-day fast at the beginning of this year. And not only did I get the job, but the provision and pace was beyond what I would have ever expected! Dissatisfaction, maybe a little anxiety, crept in and stole the excitement and joy out of my heart.

Where God guides, He provides. He guided me to this job, He provided me with this job, and He's going to strengthen me through this job!

In that moment of conviction, I asked for forgiveness. How silly of me to forget all that the Lord has done and grumble about His provision!

And in fact, the first few days I've experienced so far have been so enjoyable.

It happens. And it will happen again.

Philippians 2:14-15 says to "do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, 'children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.'"

It's easy to view the "manna" in our lives as anything but a blessing.

Look through the lens of gratitude instead. It takes intentionally choosing to look at our situations as provisions from God.  But when we do, we will not only walk in joy, but in the satisfaction of knowing that He is in control, and will lead us through!