God’s Way: Which List Will You Make?

“Why did you bring the LORD’s community into this desert, that we and our livestock should die here? Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to this terrible place? It has no grain or figs, grapevines or pomegranates. And there is no water to drink!” (Numbers 20:4-5)

With no water to drink, people get scared. Unless something changes, they’re about to die—or, at the least, to suffer a huge economic loss when all the livestock die. It’s hard to blame them for being frightened.

rockwater_350It’s easy, though, to blame them for doing what we all so often do—making the wrong list. When faced with a disaster, or even just a lousy day, we face a choice about what list to make. On the one hand, we can make the “last straw” list in which we itemize how this new bad thing fits along with all the other bad things in our lives.

For example: “I’ve got no car. My mom is mad at me. I just flunked that English test. And now I get dumped! Great! That’s the last straw, God. I give up!”

Or we can make the other list, the one where we remember how God has provided for us so often before. That’s the list the Israelites chose to ignore at this point: “God has always provided water and food when we needed it. Our shoes have never worn out. As kids, we saw him part the Red Sea to save us from the Egyptians! Our God is good. Let’s ask him for water again.”

Think: When faced with something bad, which list do you usually start to make? How hard is it to stop thinking about one list and start thinking about the other?

Pray: Ask God to help you to remember how he has provided for you and proved his love for you, especially when the next thing goes wrong in your life.

Do: Make your own quick list of five examples of God’s love and goodness in your life.