I dreaded July 4. It was to be my first day back at work. Don't get me wrong, I love my job and I missed my co-workers dearly. But I have enjoyed this maternity leave more than any other. Granted, I was always busy doing something or taking care of someone, but I enjoyed being with the kids. When nighttime came, I collapsed in bed. So I found myself being alittle melancholy Thursday night because I knew the life I had lived over the last 3 months was ending. I caught myself complaining about going back to work. Then I heard the Holy Spirit tell me, "You have a job. Be thankful. If I want you to stay at home, I'll make that happen for you."
There was another group of people who complained: the Israelites. When the Israelites went into the wilderness, one of the problems God had to repeatedly deal with them about was complaining. It was an 11 day journey from Egypt to the Promised Land, but after 40 years the Israelites were still wandering in the wilderness of death and destruction. Proverbs 21:23 says, "He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from troubles." Proverbs 13:3 says, "He who guards his mouth keeps his life, but he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin."
When Jesus went into the wilderness, He did so with a great attitude. Jesus continued to praise God no matter what, refusing to complain, and as a result God raised Him from death to new life. That should be a lesson to us. We should guard against the temptation to complain and grumble and instead purposely choose to give God praise and thanksgiving.
In reading the Israelites' story, I could see their mistakes and not make the same ones. They complained and faced death and destruction. We should heed their example and not follow their pattern. Praising and giving thanks will open the door to life.