What do you do when things are not going your way, and you feel like you can’t control your circumstances? I’ll tell you what I’ve done far too often in my life. It’s the same thing the children of Israel did as they stood on the shore of an impassable Red Sea, with the Egyptian army coming up behind to punish and re-enslave them. They started complaining against Moses, and blaming him for their plight.
Exodus 14:11-12 (NKJV) Then they said to Moses, “Because there were no graves in Egypt, have you taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you so dealt with us, to bring us up out of Egypt? 12 Is this not the word that we told you in Egypt, saying, ‘Let us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than that we should die in the wilderness.”
Don’t we love to find somebody else to blame for the things that aren’t going right in our lives! For some reason, it seems to make us feel better. But in reality, it does nothing to help us overcome the challenges we face. In fact, complaining and blaming do more to keep us trapped in our adverse circumstances than they do to relieve the situation.
One reason is that complaining and blaming actually sap our motivation to take God-directed action because they keep us feeling overwhelmed by our situation.
Psalm 77:3b . . . I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed.
But there are other ways complaining and blaming keep us trapped in our circumstances. Here’s a very important one:
Psalm 106:24-25 Then they despised the pleasant land; They did not believe His word, 25 But COMPLAINED in their tents, AND DID NOT HEED THE VOICE OF THE LORD.
You can’t listen to God and complain at the same time!
When we let our complaints about our circumstances overflow, and spend all our energy trying to fix the blame on someone else, almost by definition, we are leaving God out of the picture.
And yet, as the Israelites found out when they finally did pay heed to what the Lord, through Moses, instructed them to do, God can literally part the waters to make a way for us through our adversity.
So, let’s take our eyes off our circumstances and turn away from that oh-so-easy response of complaining and blaming. Instead, if we will first cry out to the Lord, as the children of Israel did (Exodus 14:10) and pay heed to His word and His guidance, we can be confident He can handle that difficulty we can see no way through.