What’s in Your Jar?
Written by Reuben M. Bredenhof |
Friday, March 3, 2023
Counting God’s daily blessings is something like having a jar of manna. We should mentally store up one gift from God, and another, and another, and one more—and soon the jar is full to overflowing, and we are moved to thank the Lord.
If you’ve had the thrill of getting a new and shiny possession, then you’ll also know how quickly the excitement can wane.
The enthusiastic ‘unboxing’ of your new iPhone becomes the frustration of yet another software update. The ‘new car smell’ in your Ford fades. Even the person we once fell in love with begins to look a little tired.
The magic of the new wears off, and soon we’re taking God’s good gifts for granted. Even though we prayerfully asked for His blessings, and happily received them, perhaps we quietly assumed that we were going to get them anyway.
The Israelites showed how hard it can be to value God’s gifts rightly. He had delivered them from Egyptian captivity, opened the sea for them to pass through, and He was now leading them through the desert. They had a spring in their step and a song on their lips as they went forth. Yet as the trip entered its second month, the fuel gauge was getting perilously close to ‘Empty.’ Stomachs were rumbling, and mouths getting dry and parched.
How did God’s people respond? With murmuring. They remembered how in the good ol’ days along the Nile, the food supply was so much better. Facing the cruel uncertainty of the desert, they complained against God. And this was a serious failing. William Law once said, “For as thankfulness is an express acknowledgement of the goodness of God towards you, so repinings and complaints are as plain accusations of God’s want of goodness towards you.”