Three kids dragged themselves inside their home. Their heavy breaths filling the air around them with heat as they let their gear drop from their grasp. They stumbled toward the living room, and fell onto the couches with a loud groan. Their father, working on his laptop on the dining room table across from them, quieted them. A quiet voice was coming from the computer.
“Water!” They rasped toward their father. Their father waved them away.
“We want water!” The children cried. This time the father pointed to the kitchen with a sharp glance to the children before going back to his laptop.
“You told us to go practice outside! We did! Even though it was super hot, and we practiced hard. We’re tired, sore, and sweating buckets. You’re not even going to get us water for making us go out there in that heat?” One of the children pouted. One of the other children nodded in agreement while the last one dozed off. The father rubbed his hands across his face.
“I’m sorry, do you mind if we take a quick break?” Their father said towards the computer.
“You can go get your kids water. We’ll take a quick five-minute break.” The quiet voice on the computer said. The father nodded and got up to get glasses of water for his children. The children eagerly grasped the cups and drank the cooling liquid as their father went back to work.
Super short story, and whether it’s the father or the kids, you probably think the situation could have been handled better. For most, it was probably the kids. They could have easily gotten up and got their own water, or even asked a bit nicer. For some, the father could have been more prepared for his children to come in and have water out for them, or should have enforced his kids to get water themselves. Either way, it could have been done better. But this situation actually happened, and continues to happen.
In Exodus, the Israelites left Egypt, where they were enslaved and suffering. Though Egypt is surrounded by desert and to go anywhere outside of Egypt, someone has to go through the desert. So, the Israelites left Egypt, and went into the desert. The desert sucked and was full of sand. Coarse, dry, hot sand that gets everywhere (yes, that is a Star Wars reference). There were needs that needed to be met. Things for survival. But instead of asking, the Israelites complained, argued, murmured, chided, or demanded for their needs to be met. They never asked (and I looked in multiple translations). At least in chapter 17 verses 1-7, the Israelites never asked. And when they got what they needed; the Bible does not say that they gave thanks. There was not one word of thanks in chapter 17 (and there was even a battle).
But that happened years ago (or for some is just a story in a book). But the story about the father and his kids, that’s something some people have recently dealt with at home. It’s something personal and all too familiar. That story is also happening on a national level.
There are things wrong in this world. There are bad choices being made. There are needs. Every country, every city, everyone needs something. But, how are you seeking that need?
Are you demanding, chiding, complaining, or even forcing a way to get that need?
If you have what you need, did you thank those that helped?
And if no one helped, you got what you need all on your own, are you satisfied?
Was there any way it could have been done better?
Is there anything YOU could be doing better?
Moses named the place Massah (which means “test”) and Meribah (which means “arguing”) because the people of Israel argued with Moses and tested the Lord by saying, “Is the Lord here with us or not?”Exodus 17:7 NLT