An attitude of gratitude

Then the whole congregation of the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness and the children of Israel said to them, “ Oh, that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots of meat and when we ate bread to the full! For you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill the whole assembly with hunger.”(Exodus 16:2-3)

The Lord heard their complaints and rained bread down from heaven. We read (Numbers 11:5) that the children of Israel continued to complain and remembered all the fish, cucumbers, melons, leeks, onion and garlic they ate freely in Egypt.

One of the issues that the Lord has really placed upon our hearts is to pray to Him for the church. We are the church, yet often we are so far from the image of the Lord Jesus Christ, that it should evoke tearing pain ain our hearts. Have you ever whinged, complained, been ungrateful? I know I have.

Is your glass always half empty or is it always half full? Oh, how our Heavenly Father delights in a grateful heart and how we anger and hurt Him with our ungrateful hearts. “Now when the people complained it displeased the Lord; and the Lord heard it and His anger was aroused.” (Numbers 11:1)

The people of Israel had witnessed mighty miracles and incredible provision. Every need had been taken care of, and yet still they complained. This complaining, ungrateful attitude was one of the reasons that kept them in the wilderness for 40 years! How many of us, the church, live outside the promised land?

We have all, as Zimbabweans, experienced a hard and painful past decade. And yet I have seen the Lord’s amazing provision through it all. So much that is good and spiritual is birthed in a time of crisis that I am grateful that we have been led through this time of suffering and loss. It has drawn many closer to the Lord.

A very special sister in Christ and mentor in the Spirit, Francis, who has since gone home to be with the Lord, said during one prayer meeting at the height of Zimbabwe’s woes and lack, that she felt so privileged to be in Zimbabwe at this time and used of God. She was around 90 years old at the time! What an indictment for those of us who were focusing on the crisis and counting our losses.

Through it all I learned to give thanks in all situations and to keep my eyes focused on Christ Jesus. When there was no fuel at the pumps, no food in the shops, no water in the taps, no cash in the bank, no telephone lines and very erratic ZESA – we had the abundance of Christ, Himself. We had all the richness that is found in our Lord and Saviour.

We had the Bread of Life. We had the Water of Life. We had the Light of the World. How glorious He is! We had everything because He is everything. Material things often equal bondage. The Lord knows what we need daily and He provides daily.

Through those years and even now my personal transport became a vehicle for debate, prayer, sharing, encouragement and much more as I gave lifts to my fellow Zimbabweans from all walks of life. Almost without exception when I asked how they were managing my passengers would say one thing, “Only by the grace of God.” (Psalm 37:19 “And in the days of famine they shall be satisfied.”)

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