How long will this wicked community grumble against me? I have heard the complaints of these grumbling Israelites. Numbers 14:27
The snow came and hung around awhile two weeks ago. Everyone was so excited when it began to fall that night. Everyone was excited when they saw it was actually sticking. What joy to be off work and school and play in the snow Monday morning. The sun didn't come out and melt it away the next day, or the next, or even the next. All the people who were so excited in the beginning now began to complain. How quickly joyfully appreciation turned to not so subtle regret. "This isn't normal for Mississippi. The snow is supposed to visit briefly then go away!" The very thing many had hoped and dreamed, and even prayed for was now deemed a nuisance."Frosty the snowman melt and go back to the North Pole already!" So I believe we could say the snow once prayed for and appreciated became a regret.
Many people even blamed the local weather man. "Dick Rice needs to do something about this stuff. I don't want to walk through snow to get to my mailbox. I can't get this stuff off my porch. It is still on my car!" Ever so slowly their requests began to materialize and come to pass as the snow finally began to melt in four days or so. Then what do we begin to hear from the once snow adoring public but, "What a muddy sloppy mess!" I suppose however much they regretted praying for snow, they feared complaining to God. Therefore, the local weather man seemed the most logical choice to target with their disdain for frozen rain that wouldn't go away. Poor Dick Rice was just giving the weather as it was given to him from the powers that be, that is the National Weather Service forecasters. He was just the messenger doing his job. Simply doing your job and doing what you are told isn't an easy job when you are dealing with people.
All this complaining reminds me of the quote I heard a lot when working with the public, "You can please some of the people some of the time, but none of the people all the time." And I add to that - "Some people never ever!" Also I was reminded of another group of complainers we are all familiar with in the Bible. The Children of Israel hoped and dreamed and prayed of escaping their captivity. When this dream came to pass, and they began to travel what did they do? Complain a lot. Nothing ever seemed to be right for them. Even though they didn't have to deal with snow (I don't think), the weather certainly didn't please them, or their food, or their leader. The people didn't complain to God so much as they did to Moses. Moses was just doing his job. He just passed on God's directions to the people. The journey came to pass which would lead them to the Promised Land, but how quickly they grew tired of it. They wanted the journey just to end already. When the end of the journey did come into view, they feared giants in the Promised Land, as they once again complained and whined and doubted that they could ever make them go away.
Again I say, "You can please some of the people some of the time, but none of the people all of the time and some people never ever."
Today as we pray for things to come to pass, let us learn a lesson from the Children of Israel who prayed for escape, and the children of North Mississippi who prayed for snow to come. First of all, be careful what you pray for, prayers do come to pass. Second of all, when prayers are answered, appreciate what you receive without any regrets. Don't whine and complain because it isn't all that you had imagined it would be. You prayed the prayer. Don't blame God. Don't blame your leader.
May we not be murmurers and complainers, or even regretters. Read Numbers 14 today as a reminder to yourself to appreciate every answered prayer as we journey to the Promised Land that lies ahead of us hopefully without any regrets.