I have a confession: I do not enjoy exercising. In fact, it makes me feel like I’m dying. (Which is probably proof that I need to exercise.) In keeping with the feeling of dying, and the need for peace, I decided to listen to Psalms instead of music as I exercised the other night. As I listened, Psalm 78 caught my attention.
In this Psalm, the Psalmist tells about the Exodus. In verses 13-14, we read of the things God had done; God delivered them through a sea, He visibly guided them, and He gave them water from rocks. His presence and provision were evident in ways that most of us will never experience. Yet, in verse 17, the Psalmist writes that they continued to sin against God and rebelled against Him in the desert!
As I was struggling for breath while exercising, verses 18-20 really stood out to me: “They willfully put God to the test by demanding the food they craved. They spoke against God, saying, “Can God spread a table in the desert? When He struck the rock, water gushed out, and streams flowed abundantly. But can He also give us food? Can He supply meat for His people?” After all that they had seen, they had the audacity to ask if God was able to provide food in the desert. They remembered the water that came from the rock, but somehow, they doubted that He was capable of providing food.
Verses 21 and 22 say, “When the Lord heard them, He was very angry; His fire broke out against Jacob, and His wrath rose against Israel, for they did not believe in God or trust in His deliverance.” These are the same people who had seen the sea divided so that they could walk through. These are the same people who saw the cloud by day and fire at night, and who drank water that gushed out of a rock. Yet, despite all this, they didn’t “believe in God or trust in His deliverance.” It seems unbelievable that they would have trust issues after all that they had seen! But, I think we sometimes do the same thing. At least I do.
Even though I have seen God provide, and I know that He has led me where He wants me to be, I sometimes find myself doubting or not trusting Him fully. My fears and worries begin to sound a lot like the Israelites. “Yes God provided before, yes God led me, but will He provide in this instance? Does He even care to provide?” Sometimes, because I can’t see or understand, I allow myself to forget the truth.
The truth is God is able. There is nothing too difficult for Him. If God is leading us, even if it is into a desert, He is able to provide. The God who led us knows exactly where we are, and He is mindful of our needs. We cannot allow fear, worry, impatience, or dissatisfaction to drown out the truth of God’s character and His ability.
Do things seem hopeless or impossible? Remember where God has brought you, who He is, and what He has done. Then trust Him; watch and wait to see what He will do this time.