This seems to be a tendency lately. Slightly ungrateful attitudes toward life: snacks, meals, toys, activities. Now don't get me wrong, in general our children are quite thankful for what they have and get. However, it would seem as of late that a desire for a bit 'more', better, different is an attitude that creeps in.
My reaction to such an unthankful response isn't always the best either. It tends to bring out the 'grouchies' in me.
Contemplating the scenario that played out, my mind turned toward how the Isrealites reacted to God's provision of manna for them while they wandered the dessert for 40 years. This manna met all their nutritional needs. It fell from Heaven daily in an amount sufficient to feed families for that day. Each and every day. Whenever I read that excerpt I wonder, "Why weren't they just content? Why weren't they thankful with what they had? They had food a plenty to keep them going."
As I recalled this scenario and compared it to our children I couldn't help but see the similarities.
I don't have to provide snacks each day. Their caloric intake is met with breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
I don't have to allow them to have candy or desert after meals. It's a luxury.
I don't have to take them to do fun things. We have plenty to do here at home.
I don't have to let them play with their toys or play their games. We have rocks and sticks outside. ;-)
I realized my reaction to their ungrateful attitude was somewhat justified. I also realized that God probably feels the same about ME!
Even though it may not surface as often as my kids' unhappiness with the snack being offered, my discontentment does rear it's ugly head.
When I ponder and become dismayed at why it's taking so long for our house to sell in Ohio, I'm reminded that it's my complaining heart that is really at fault. God has provided since we've moved even as we wait for the sale of that house. We've had food on our table, a shelter over our heads, clothes on our back. When I find myself bemoaning the house hasn't sold, it's not because I'm hungry or cold, it's because I want MORE. I want to paint the interior, buy chickens and goats, enroll the kids in horseback riding, take a vacation. The list could go on.
Funny..... all those are luxuries. Just as the candy and snacks my children grumble about are.
Guess we're not so different.
I'm glad God put on my heart this similarity. What a great teaching opportunity. I can help my children be more content while at the same time working on my own gratefulness. My own heart.
God's provisions are always perfect. Even when we'd rather have something different, something more.
Those plain graham crackers vs those with frosting meet the need to fill a hungry tummy. Similarly, learning to live simply rather than being able to afford the paint and curtains I'd LIKE to have is far more fulfilling in the end.
What do you find yourself grumbling about when you should be content?