Two million people wandering around in the desert... men, women, young and old, children and babies. Leaving Egypt behind, taking only what they could carry on their backs. The Lord had told them to be ready to leave fast. They were to prepare the Passover meal and eat it standing up, shoes on their feet in expectation for their coming deliverance.
I know what it takes to feed my family. Four growing boys never stop eating. Just thinking about leaving everything you've known and setting out on a journey through the wilderness, with just what I could carry and my seven member family would be an act of faith that I would miserably fail. It gives me hives just thinking about it.
Even after crossing the Red Sea on dry land the Israelites struggle to understand this God they have newly entered into a relationship with. He promises His presence with a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. He has performed countless miracles on their behalf and yet...
It's been three days since they saw the water split in two and they walked on the DRY sea floor. Three days since they saw the water topple back down, onto Pharaoh's army and drown their enemy. Three days since they sang and danced and rejoiced and praised the power of the One True God.
Three days that they have travelled with over 2 million people and not seen a drop of water. That is a legit need. People can't live without water. They finally find a spot called "Marah", but the water was too bitter to drink. So, they do what they do best... cry, complain, whine. They turn to Moses and say, "What are we going to drink?"
I totally get it. That's my first reaction to any little inconvenience in my life... so I know I would have been one of the complainers. I would have been right at the front of the line blaming Moses and this invisible God for bringing me out here in the desert to die. I would have been the one to forget all the times I had seen things that were impossible. I would have been the one to say, "Look, God can't even provide drinking water."
I say I believe that He created the Universe, but at the first hint of trouble in my life, my words and actions reveal what my heart truly believes... That God can't or won't meet my needs. I say I believe that He is powerful, able to do the impossible, that He knows me and sees my situation. I say I believe that He is my Heavenly Father and He will take care of me, but my actions and my mouth reveal my lack of trust and faith.
BUT Moses cried out to the Lord and the Lord showed him a tree. When Moses threw the tree in the water, the water became drinkable. OKAY WHAT????
Here is the difference between me and Moses... I would be like "God, this is such a bad plan. I mean this is so not going to work." But Moses just does what God told him to do. Moses believed that God was able. He believed that God would and that God could and because he believed, he asked. Moses knew this situation WAS NOT proof that God didn't care or that God wasn't paying attention or that God had forgotten their needs. Moses saw this situation as a chance to see what God would do. He knew his needs were the very place that God wanted to reveal himself, his character and his nature. So, Moses took his needs to God and God answered with the impossible.
Moses didn't question God's crazy plan. He didn't try to come up with a plan that would make more sense. He KNEW he didn't have the answers and he depended on God.
Every step of the way Yahweh was trying to teach them about Himself. Every new obstacle was an opportunity to learn more about Him. Every trial was a test of what they really believed. Every miracle, proof that He is able, powerful, good, and faithful.
Yahweh was revealing His character through His actions... and He is doing the same thing in my life.
Jesus said, "Your Father in Heaven knows that you have needs (food, drink, clothing). But seek first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." Matt 6:33
Your needs are legit, but they are not proof that God doesn't care... they are the places where we are drawn closer to Him and able to see how awesome He truly is. Our needs are the catalyst for our relationship with God. Relationship FIRST. Like any earthly parent wants to meet their children's needs, He longs to meet ours and draw us closer to Him in the process.