My barber is from Vietnam, and I asked him how things were going in his home country. He spoke about the effect of Covid on the nation—especially the poor. He told me that since major cities were in lockdown, the poor who lived outside the city could not enter to do their work. People are suffering. Today in our nation many are also suffering hardships. As I think about these things, I read God’s Word about the Israelites in the desert. Because of their grumbling and complaining, God allowed them to remain in the desert forty years. Yet, He did not forget them. He continued to provide for them—even during the time of discipline. God spoke to them through Moses saying, “The whole commandment that I command you today you shall be careful to do, that you may live and multiply, and go in and possess the land that the Lord swore to give to your fathers. And you shall remember the whole way that the Lord your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not. And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. Your clothing did not wear out on you and your foot did not swell these forty years” (Deuteronomy 8:1-4). When times are tough, it’s important to call to remembrance God’s faithfulness. A couple close to our family is going through some big challenges. In some ways these difficulties are confusing and naturally bring up the “why” questions. However, I love their response. They both sat down and purposely recalled the many blessings of God through the past few years. In recounting God’s faithfulness, they received strength and encouragement for today. It takes effort to push aside the “why me” complaints and focus on the goodness of God. Yet, we must say to ourselves, “All I have experienced of God in the past gives me faith for all that I will go through in the future. I will not forget God!” And…be assured that God has not forgotten you. He cares for you and will provide for you.
Pastor Mark Boucher