Am I the only one who this happens to? It’s evening time and the family is getting ready for work and school the next day. Everybody is making their lunches, setting out clothes, going through backpacks, etc. The parents are multi-tasking. Then something sparks in my brain: I need to grab something out of the garage for the next day. So here I go, out to the garage. Once I get out there, my brain goes blank and I have no idea what I came for. So I just stand there scanning random items in the garage and attempting to scan my brain hoping for some clarity. Complete memory lapse. And back into the house I go, empty handed.
I hate it when that happens. It could be worse though. I could have a memory lapse of far more important things. Things like my anniversary date or my kids’ birthdays. Or a promise I made to a friend. Thankfully, I generally just have memory lapses on small things. Things like: I can’t remember what I ate last week. Because really, that doesn’t even matter much. But I do know this, I did not eat at a five-star restaurant every day for the last month. I would definitely remember that.
The Israelites though… their memory was a little off when they recounted their days in Egypt. In case you don’t know the story, they were slaves. The work was hard and they were abused. They couldn’t worship God freely. It was not a great life. I’m guessing slaves don’t eat at five-star restaurants very often, either. But when God freed them and led them out of Egypt, they seemed to have a complete memory lapse when it came to their living conditions.
Exodus 16:3 The Israelites said to them, “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.”
Really? I mean, really. You were a slave with a mostly full stomach. Now you are free man who is hungry. Let’s look at the bigger picture here, people!
I’ll be honest, I scratch my head when reading about the Israelites. How is it possible that God did something so great in their lives a few days ago and now they are complaining? I mean, I would never…. oh, wait.
We do that, too, don’t we? We allow our present situation to shape our outlook. We forget all the great things that God has done in us and for us. We get overwhelmed and stand in the middle of the garage without a clue. Yet, if we just scanned our brains for a moment, we might remember what Christ has done for us. We might be able to recall what our life was like or would be like without Him. The Israelites believed that their days in slavery were great compared to their current situation. It wasn’t true; it was a complete lapse in memory.
I’m hoping that WE can get OUR memories straight. I hope that when we face hard things, we start remembering how great God is in our lives rather than make up stories about how our old lives used to be. Because when we start remembering correctly, our faith is built. Peace shows up. Hope pays us a visit. Let’s get our memories straight, people. The truth is: Egypt wasn’t that great.