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Thursday, April 01, 2010

Spiritual Lessons From Unemployment - Part 2: Miracle to Whine

I've always wondered how the Israelites could go from seeing God miraculously deliver them from Pharoah's army in the Red Sea and then so quickly panic, whine and complain when they had a need.  I've now done it myself.  It's really not that hard.

Two days before Christmas we had virtually no presents for the children, our parents or anyone else we would normally have gifts for.  On top of that, through an unemployment snafu we also had absolutely no money with significant bills on the horizon.  Out of the blue a local non-profit organization had heard of our situation, called us and said, "Santa stopped here to deliver gifts for your family."  We went there that morning and were stunned with their generosity.  They had wrapped a bunch of presents for the kids and let us choose from a huge pile of other gifts.  We had everything we needed for Christmas and my daughter's birthday which was on December 31.

They also gave us a Christmas card with gift cards in it.  We went from zero to surplus within 24 hours, right when we needed it most.  Stunned and grateful we got ourselves ready for Christmas day. The whole experience was truly a miracle in my world.

And at the same time it became apparent that getting my unemployment snafu worked out wouldn't be an overnight thing of just getting them the right papers and information.  It became apparent that we were not going to be able to pay the mortgage and I was crushed in spirit, despondent and wondering where God was.  I went from zero to surplus to whine within 48 hours.  Ugh.

I was immediately reminded of the story of God's people being led out of slavery in Egypt.  The Scriptures give this vision of them being in bondage, miracles performed to release them, and miracles for them to escape Pharoah's army and cross the sea on dry ground.  And within a short time they're whining about their food and comfort, wishing they were back in Egypt -- miracles to whine in a flash.

Even back in August I had preached on Exodus 32 and the Golden Calf and couldn't imagine how they would want an idol after what God had provided for them.  I remember being dumbfounded.

Today I am reminded of the disciples who had been with Jesus, heard his teachings and should have had a clue that he would rise from the dead but were found in an upper room despondent and grieving their loss.  They too went miracle to despair.

I always wondered how they did that. How could they be so faithless? For the record: it's not that hard. I've now done it too -- lost sight of my hope in an instance.  Lord have mercy on me.  Be strong in my weakness O God.


A series of lessons and observations I have learned from my experience of being underemployed.
1. I'm Not Poor

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