They were distracted.
I get distracted too.
Even though their every need had been met from the very hand of God. They missed it. Forgot. Their eyes wandered from His face to His hands. He wasn’t doing enough because He wasn’t enough.
Even though He has met my every need – not to be confused with want – I miss Him. I forget. I allow my eyes to wander from His face, to His hands. Sometimes I feel like He isn’t doing enough. I forget that He is enough.
They wanted more from Him. More things they could see, taste, touch.
I want more from Him. Lots more. Tangible things.
When His people were wandering in the desert, God wanted their hearts. He wanted them to look to Him. He provided for them even though they had disobeyed. They had chosen against trusting Him. Instead of striking them all dead, He had given manna in the desert.
As I’m going through life, God wants my heart. He wants me to look to Him. He continues to provide for my every need even though I disobey Him. I sometime choose against trusting Him and yet, He sustains me.
The price of whining and complaining is high. The cost of discontentment is staggering – dissatisfaction, malcontent, displeasure. Attitudes reflective of a heart condition, a deadly heart condition. These attitudes are the result of our taking a stroll on the dark side, of ourselves. These attitudes cannot be the result of walking in the Light as He is in the Light. These attitudes come from the pit of our own selfishness. These attitudes grow when we are distracted from His face by our own.
Ingratitude means we don’t get what He’s done. We think we have done it. We think we don’t need Him. His provision, His blessing, His grace, somehow we have come to believe we deserve them. That entitlement attitude equals ingratitude. Instead of praising Him for who He is, instead of thanking Him for what He’s done, ingratitude ignores and even criticizes both.
The Old Testament symbol of the bronze serpent in the desert, was a foreshadowing of Christ on the cross. God instructed Moses to fashion the symbol for the people to look at and be saved. When Jesus hung on the cross, God extended salvation to all mankind. Look to Jesus and be saved. “Look at Me!” Jesus says.
God’s desire is our hearts. His invitation – our attention. He wants us to look at Him, to seek Him, to depend on Him. He longs for us to run to Him in good times and in bad. Running to Him when we’re in a spot, when we can’t see a way out, when consequences overtake us, that’s when we wonder where He is, that’s when we call out, that’s when we tend to questions His faithfulness.
When we look at Him we are reminded of His sacrifice, His love. When we look at Him all fear is gone. Looking at Him puts all of our problems and issues and struggles in perspective. When we look at Him we gain strength and confidence, not in ourselves but in Him.
Focusing on Him makes all the difference. Looking at Him, and His glory, His faithfulness, His holiness, His truth makes all the difference. It doesn’t make everything make sense, but it grants us peace to know that He holds it all. He is in the process of redeeming it all, bringing it all together for His supreme purposes.
Nothing is an accident, nothing wasted. He uses everything our faith and our failures, our dreams and discouragements, our hopes and our hurts. Nothing wasted. Everything redeemed. In the worst situation, the most painful, the most overwhelming, the most hurtful, we can know that He knows, that He cares, that He is working it for our good and His glory.
Look at Me and be healed, gain strength, renew hope.
Looking at Him reminds us of the hope we have in heaven, in His immanent return. Looking at Him with tear-stained faces, when tired eyes and weary smiles.
He is trustworthy, He is faithful.
Look at Me when things are crazy.
Look at Me when the world is spinning.
Look at Me when you don’t know which way is up.
Look at Me whenever you need Me, whenever you have a question, a frustration, a hope, a dream, a loss, a wound.
Look at Me when you’re tired.
Look at Me when you’re lost, under attack, feeling alone, blindsided, confused, broken, bruised, outcast.
Look at Me!
Not him or her or them. Look at Me! Not that or that. Look at Me! Not the problem. Not the storm. Not the crowd. Not the enemy. Not your friends or family.
Look at Me.
Though tears blur your vision and stain your face.
Look at Me.
I am. Your Hope. Your Answer. Your Peace. Your Joy. Your Defender. Your Healer. Your Redeemer. Your Savior. Your Lord. Your Master. Your returning King.
Look at Me. I Am.
Look at Me.
I know. I get it. All the details, I understand them. The subtly, the nuance, the implication. I see you. I see them. I see through it all. I’ve got it.
Look at Me, just Me.
Let the cross be your focus. Nothing else.
Look at Me. Don’t get distracted.