Numbers 11:1-9, "Now the people complained about their hardships in the hearing of the Lord, and when he heard them his anger was aroused. Then fire from the Lord burned among them and consumed some of the outskirts of the camp. When the people cried out to Moses, he prayed to the Lord and the fire died down. So that place was called Taberah, because fire from the Lord had burned among them. The rabble with them began to crave other food, and again the Israelites started wailing and said, '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!' The manna was like coriander seed and looked like resin. The people went around gathering it, and then ground it in a hand mill or crushed it in a mortar. They cooked it in a pot or made it into loaves. And it tasted like something made with olive oil. When the dew settled on the camp at night, the manna also came down."
The Israelites had some phenomenal blessings. We find the Israelites standing ankle deep in manna, bountifully blessed by God. But take a wild guess at what they were saying. Do you think they were saying, “Thank You, God. God, You are awesome. Let me give You a high five!”? Don’t hold your breath! Do you know what they were saying? They were in the moan zone. They were negative, pessimistic, and ungrateful. They were saying, “God, I wish we could go back to Egypt. I wish we could go back to slavery.” They forgot the sting of the whip. They forgot the sorry food. They were wallowing in self-pity city because they were thirsty.
Now, before we dog the Israelites too much, let’s put the spotlight on our own lives. What occupies our thoughts? What occupies our focus? Is it what we have, or maybe what we don’t have?
Self-pity puts us at the center; we over-focus on ourselves. Instead, we are called to put Jesus at the center. Maybe today we need to check our vision and put on the lenses of gratefulness.
Today list five things you are thankful for. Verbalize your list to someone close or call one person today and tell them why you are thankful for them.
God, help me to remember all of my blessings. Help me to keep my eyes focused on You and not my circumstances or surroundings. Amen.