This year our church has embraced a plan to study the whole Bible in a year. We are being encouraged to “Eat this Book” and read through the Bible this year – BTW, there’s an App for that. The messages each week focus on the chapters of the Bible that we read during the week. Well, we are in Numbers. I know what you are thinking, and frankly, so was I – What are we going to get out of Numbers? I’ll be honest and say I felt the same way about Leviticus but that is another story. The message last week was awesome! It is amazing how much the Israelites grumbled and they had God speaking directly to Moses; miracles happening in front of their eyes and lest we forget, they also saw the earth open up and swallow up those that were causing problems, and yet they grumbled, over and over again. Ah, wait a minute; let’s not be so quick to cast judgment. We have the Bible where God speaks to us, we see God work miracles in people’s lives and yes, sometimes we even see God lovingly discipline those who refuse to obey Him. And what is our response – be honest here – WE GRUMBLE! We were encouraged to be more aware of all the times we grumble and instead look for all the blessings and to name them out loud. Yikes, when I am consciously thinking about this, I have to admit I grumble more than I thought.
So, as we are about to head off to a country that is totally outside of what is normal and natural for us, I am going to try to monitor my grumble meter. I will survive and maybe even enjoy different foods that in some cases I have no clue what they are, crowds everywhere, waiting on people at appointments, traffic that makes most US cities at rush hour look uncongested, and even squatty potties (trust me, you don’t want to know). Instead I am choosing to focus on the blessings. Friends that are meeting us at the airport in Beijing, experiencing the rich history and culture of China and meeting our daughter and in so doing seeing the fulfillment of God’s leading in our lives. I’ll try to share our blessings along the way as we continue this journey. I’m sure I will find myself grumbling but hopefully, I will be conscious of that and stop, step back and instead be grateful for all that God has so richly provided.