“And you saw how the Lord your God cared for you all along the way as you traveled through the wilderness, just as a father cares for his child. Now he has brought you to this place. But even after all he did, you refused to trust the Lord your God…”Deuteronomy 1:31-32 NLT
Though this passage refers to a specific people in a specific time, it is applicable in our present day. In this passage, Moses was reminding the people of Israel of how God, in his kindness and fatherly love, had cared for them and guided them.
Despite all he’d done, they doubted and failed to trust him fully. They had a history marred with distrustful grumbling and complaining. Relatable?
Just as they did, we often find ourselves facing difficult situations as well. No level of positive mindset or toxic positivity will prevent this. We do not live in a perfect world. The evils and cares of the world will at some point affect us all. They remind us that this is not the original design and make us long for a heavenly home that is to come, but not yet. It is okay to take your distress and burdens to God, it is encouraged. He welcomes our disappointments, hardships, and sorrows. Prayer in this way is one of our most powerful tools in dealing with our woes. We are instructed to cast all cares on him.
The danger is found when we keep our cares instead of casting them. They accumulate, they fester, they multiply; all while our faith diminishes. It is an insidious process resulting in distrust and discontented complaining.
This type of complaining calls into question whether he’s fair, if he’s even good, or if he even cares. It opens a crack to allow the enemy into plant seeds of doubt against God’s character, ushering in the same unbelief the people of Israel experienced.
Left to our own thoughts and reasoning, it is easy to lose sight of God’s mercy and grace, just as they did. Mercy reminds me that us that we are not receiving our just due for all of our mistakes and missteps, grace reminds us that we didn’t earn or deserve the blessings we have. They shift us to a posture of gratitude and humility. And humility reminds us that we don’t know as much as we think we do. God knows best.
And so, when we feel entitled to grumble, with humility and childlike faith, we can instead cast our cares and accept his will as the best thing, not because we understand it but because we trust him. He has already proven himself.
So, today as many of us turn our hearts and minds toward gratitude and the giving of thanks, maybe this is the perfect time to complain less and cast more. I pray God will give us the strength to do just that. And as we gather and give thanks, I pray we experience his mercy and grace with truly grateful hearts.