Gratitude or Grrr-attitude?

Leah and I haven’t really cared much for Houston yet. Colorado Springs had better, albeit crazier, weather, a much prettier view, lighter traffic, some of our friends, her family, and a great church. Houston has been very hot and muggy almost every day, with gridlock during rush hour. We know only her great aunt and a cousin here and we’re still shopping for a church in this very large, flat city.

Several times, we’ve broken down and complained about having moved here, whether for one of the reasons above or because I am still hunting for a job or because the move seemed to have an inordinate amount of issues that took a long time to sort out. In short, we’ve been like the Israelites when they left Egypt, whining about God leading them into a desert, even though He’d just led them out of slavery. Instead of gratitude, they had a grrr-attitude.

Neither Leah nor I liked being single. God led us to each other and gave us the freedom and blessing of marriage. But just over a year into this bliss, He has us move to Houston. We don’t know whether Houston is the promised land or the desert for us, but last night, I told Leah that I didn’t want us to complain anymore and she agreed.

When the Israelites complained, they were forced to wander in the desert for 40 years. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather just get to the promised land. I don’t know what’s going to be there, whether it’s financial prosperity or children or a nice house or anything else, but I know that in the desert, there are ample opportunities to grow our faith and rely on God more. I know that in the promised land, there is reward for that faith, and if that’s more of God, then that’s a better reward than any monetary or familial reward.

So from now on, Leah and I aren’t going to complain. If we can’t say something nice, we’re going to pray about it rather than harbor a bad attitude. If we can say something nice, we focus on that and we’ll always try to focus on God’s control of all situations.

It’s not just that we want to get out of the desert, but that our words speak what is in our heart. That goes both ways, though: studies have shown that you’ll eventually believe something if you hear it enough, provided you haven’t made up your mind entirely against it. In other words, by saying it, you’ll help yourself believe it, which will help you say it more easily.

This isn’t a name-it, claim-it message. Leah and I aren’t saying all the time that we’ll live in a mansion with millions in the bank. We’re just saying that God will provide in whatever way seems best to Him, and that way, we know from Romans 8:28, is the way that is best for us, better than any other way we could devise. As a child trusts his father and mother to provide what’s needed, so we’re to trust God. That means trusting to the extent that we don’t even question or worry about how it’s going to happen, but just know that it will. In the meantime, we’ll just do whatever God tells us, thankful that He’s already planned how to take care of our needs.

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