“In the desert the whole community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The Israelites said to them, ‘If only we had died by the LORD’s hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death.’” Exodus 16:2-3
He had freed them from bondage, completely destroyed their pursuers and allowed the Israelites to walk through the Red Sea on dry land, after which they sang a spontaneous song of jubilation (15:1-18).
But now they were hungry. Forget what happened months ago or even days ago. Forget that they were on their way to a promised land. Right now, they were hungry. In this moment, they had discomfort, and it caused them to recall “back when” their stomachs were full. Even after all God had done, their empty stomachs convinced their minds that God would not continue to be good to them, that He would not meet their immediate needs. This “I know You’ve done great things, but what have You done for me lately” pattern would repeat itself many times in this epic journey.
And then I heard God speak to me. “They could not see past themselves to the destiny I had for them. Will you be different?”
With all of my heart, I want to be different. I ache at the thought that I would be among a generation that would die in the wilderness because I could not see past myself.
And so I speak to my own heart:
“Stand up and cast your gaze outward, past yourself. See that God is calling you to your destiny, a destiny that leaves a legacy of faithfulness. Quit looking back, for behind you is the place of your captivity.
Your flesh craves comfort and a feeling of fullness, causing you to dwell only in the moment of need. But you were made for more than this kind of dwelling. You were made to journey with Your God, through the wilderness and barren places, through valleys and up mountains, past quiet streams and through fire. You were made to have hands trained for war and a heart ruled by peace. You have a destiny and a purpose beyond this wilderness of self focus and self want. Turn down the sound of your craving for lesser things, so that you can hear deep calling to deep…the deep places in the heart of God calling to the deep place in you, stirring a craving for something so much greater than your personal comfort.
You have a hope and a destiny. Will you look past you to see it?”