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Looking Backwards

Journal Entry // April 13, 2022

We remember the fish we ate in Egypt that cost nothing, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic. [6] But now our strength is dried up, and there is nothing at all but this manna to look at.”

Numbers 11:5-6 ESV

Am I looking back over my past and longing for those days gone by and not giving praise and thanks to God for the blessings in front of me? Unfortunately, this is more true than I care to really think about. The Israelites had been miraculously brought out of the land of slavery and hardship where they were mistreated and abused. They were given great signs and wonders to announce the presence of God among them. They were even given miraculous bread (manna) to eat every single day. This was a constant reminder of God’s presence and blessing upon them each and every morning. Yet, the people were not satisfied and began to grumble. They grumbled at the miraculous because it became routine.

This is so true of my own heart. I see and experience the tremendous blessing of God in my life every single day. It becomes so routine that I take it for granted. Just like the rising of the sun each morning is taken for granted, so too do I become numb to the majesty and holiness of Christ in me. God has given 10,000 blessings in my life, but I can only ever focus on the one thing he holds back. I become cynical and despondent over this one thing. This one single blessing wrapped in a hardship is my grumble because I do not see it as a blessing, but as a torture.

So, just as the Israelites looked back longingly on their days of slavery, I too focus on the past. The Israelites remembered their past through a warped lens that celebrated the kind of foods that they had in Egypt that cost them nothing. Think about that… They were slaves being beaten and oppressed daily, but now they look back on those days with fondness because of something as simple as food. I am no different than them. I too look back on my past and only remember the good parts and long for those days. I grumble about my current situation and push against the Lord to restore the things of the past to me.

I need the Lord to give me the desires of my heart. To give me His desires in my heart. I want to long for the things of God. I want to abide with Christ. I want to be satisfied with Christ alone. He is more than enough. His provision for me is miraculous! I want to never ever forget that. I don’t want the miraculous to become mundane. I want to be like a child at play. This weekend I was “chasing” a four year old around the house. She was laughing and enjoying herself so much, that she wouldn’t let me stop. Every time I stopped chasing her, she would come up to me and ask me to chase her again.

I need this sense of joy with Jesus in my heart. I need this child-like wonder at the miracles and provision of Christ in my life. I need to keep saying to Jesus, “Do it again!” I need this sense of wonder and trust and faith. I need continual thanksgiving and gratitude in my heart. I need to count my blessings and remember the steadfast love and commitment of Christ to me. It’s ok to remember the past and it’s ok to miss some of the blessings of God in the past. I just don’t need to dwell there. I am to dwell with Christ in the here and now. Today is the day of the Lord. I want to rejoice in it and be glad.

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