Have you ever had a plumber come to work at your house? If he has to shut off the water, it is amazing how it happens. Like clockwork, immediately everyone either needs to use the bathroom or wants a drink of water!
When I read the Bible, it is easy for me to be really hard on the people in the stories.
The Israelites whine and complain.
The apostles argue amongst themselves.
Everyone misses the point.
I like to pretend that I would have done so much better! (Yeah, right!)
In Exodus 15, after the Israelites cross the Red Sea, they head into the Desert of Shur. “For three days they traveled in the desert without finding water.” (Exodus 15:22 NIV).
How many days would you travel by foot in the desert without water before you started to complain?
Maybe that was the wrong question. How many hours would you make it?
Not long at all!
If I read the text right, they only started to grumble when they got to Marah, where the water was bitter.
I’m not letting the Israelites off the hook. Grumbling is never a blessing, but the fact it took them at least three days to start doing it shows us greater faith and patience than we might have realized. Ten minutes after the plumber shuts off a faucet in my air-conditioned house, I’m thirsty. It took the Israelites three days!
Let’s make a lesson out of this: the next time I start to grumble, I’m going to ask myself, “Can I wait 3 days?” After all, in the Bible story, a lot can change in three days…