Anyone who is a parents understands the wisdom behind keeping the details of an upcoming trip secret from their kids for as long as possible. My husband and I have had a secret spring break tripped planned for weeks, and now that the time is getting close there are necessary errands I need to run in order to prepare. But the kids don’t know about this amazing trip, they just know we’re dragging them around to get haircuts and making them take a break from playing to try on dumb stuff like water socks, all of which seems very pointless and annoying to them. The murmuring and complaining is just about all I can take. If they only KNEW what amazing thing I had planned for them, they wouldn’t complain. There’s a lesson in there somewhere .
Throughout the Bible are stories of mankind falling into this same trap- murmuring and complaining against God because they don’t have His vision or knowledge of His plans. The Israelites, whom He rescued out of Egypt, couldn’t see the mighty nation they would become, and so they complained in the desert about lack of water and meat, instead yearning for the small extra comforts they had in Egypt even though they had been there as slaves.
The prophet Jonah didn’t want to give God’s warning to save his enemies, the Ninevites, from destruction. He couldn’t see that Israel would be conquered by them in the future and that this heart change was necessary to turn Nineveh away from being a barbaric society that treated their conquered nations brutally so that they would not mistreat God’s people during their time ruling over them.
It’s easy to be completely satisfied in our relationship with God when everything is going according to OUR plans. We read these Bible stories and shake our heads in disbelief at the people who so quickly forgot God’s promises when situations got difficult. But when He does things in our own lives that don’t make sense: tells us “NO” on that job or relationship (but we wanted that!); when sickness or even death occurs (but this is hard so it’s not good!); when He tells us to leave friends and family and move to a new place (why would He want us all alone?!); we start to question if God knows what He’s doing.
As we walk this walk of faith in Christ Jesus, there are going to be countless moments that test our belief. Our attitude in the midst of these trials indicates the strength of our faith. Murmuring and complaining against God reveals our lack of trust in Him as the omniscient, loving God who has plans to prosper us, keep us and give us plans for a future(Jeremiah 29:11). We can read the book, but do we BELIEVE the book. We can’t see the land of milk and honey from deep within the valley, but do we trust and believe it’s there because Jesus said, “I go to prepare a place for you.” (John 14:2)?
This life is where we are refined for the next. That’s the goal. That’s the prize. When we keep a kingdom mindset, it’s easier let’s go and let God do what He does. It enables us recognize trials and tribulations as opportunities to grow in our faith and trust in Christ. They are refining moments that take us one step closer to home. “Without faith it is impossible to please God,” (Hebrews 11:6) and how we show faith is by trusting His plan no matter where He takes us.