“If Only” (A Thanksgiving Blog)

In the book of Exodus in the Old Testament, God uses Moses to lead the Israelite slaves out from Egypt. Yet on the fifteenth day of the second month since they came out of Egypt, all the Israelites did was complain to Moses:

If only we had died by the Lord’s hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death.” (Exodus 16:3)

How quickly their celebration in freedom turned to complaint! Moses reassures the people that God hears their grumbling and surely, soon after, God provided manna and quail. But really, what good was their grumbling and complaining? Of course our God who freed them would surely provide, if not already! God who showed His power through ten plagues. God who parted the Red Sea. God who delivered them from bondage and oppression. Their grumbling was part of their forgetfulness: “if only we had stayed”, “if only we had food to eat”, “if only”, “if only”, “if only”… “If only” they remembered God’s provision! I mean, how could they forget?

With Christmas just around the corner, it’s easy for us to overlook Thanksgiving and what we’re thankful for. Time to time, we might find ourselves grumbling with complaints, regrets, or even “if only I could get this or that for Christmas”. There’s no need to look back on our lives and think how it “could be”. Let’s not forget to be grateful for what God has done, is doing, and will do in our lives. It’s not a matter of “if only” – since we are in Christ, all things are possible with God and through God.

Hopefully the only grumbling this Thanksgiving will be coming from our stomachs before dinner. Let’s be thankful: Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

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