Saturday, October 2, 2010

How To Turn Bitter Into Sweet

In Exodus 15:22-26 we see the children of Israel complaining just after they have been set free from their slavery in Egypt. After crossing the Red Sea, they traveled until they ran out of water. Soon, they came across a small lake, but the water tasted bitter and was not good to drink. They grumbled and complained to Moses and Aaron - they were as bitter as the water they couldn't drink. They were blinded by their perception of lack.

Moses cried out the Lord (v. 25) and the Lord showed him a tree. Just an ordinary tree. He threw the tree into the water and the water became sweet. Notice something important here - when Moses cried out, God SHOWED him a tree. God didn't create one on the spot. He didn't cause one to just appear. The tree had always been there - God just showed it to him.

I'm sure Moses and Aaron, along with the Israelites, walked right by that tree a hundred times without once seeing the potential inside of it. It was ordinary and simple. It didn't stick out and was not glamorous. It was not a huge western red cedar. It wasn't the mighty, 100 year old oak. Just an ordinary tree. Imagine - they probably ate lunch under it and complained about their lack of water, not realizing that the solution was right in front of them.

Can you hear them? "God brought us here and we are in need - we don't have good water. We don't have a solution to our problem. Wah, wah, wah." The answer to their problem was right in front of them the whole time. Because they were complaining about what they didn't have, they couldn't see what they did have. Isn't that like us sometimes?

We too are sometimes so blinded and concerned with what we don't have. We mumble and complain about what God has not given us and miss out on what He has given us. We are looking for the perfect answer when it is right in front of us. "I don't have enough workers for my ministry. I don't have enough money for that. Hasn't God called me here? Why won't He provide?" The answer could be right in front of you. Have you cried out to God and asked Him to show you the solution? Are the people you need to help you fulfill your ministry right in front of you?

We need to stop complaining while surrounded with the answers to our problems. We need to open our eyes - the people and resources to accomplish God's will are right in front of us - we just have to recognize it, go get them and put them to use - turning our bitterness into sweetness.

Who do you need to have lunch with this week to talk about joining you in your ministry? What resource are you stepping over or ignoring that can be invested into the Kingdom today? What have you been complaining about instead of crying out to the Lord about? He will show you the answers every time.

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