When tested, trust in God

August 5, 2018

Fleeing from the communist Viet Cong as a teenager, I can totally identify with the Israelites in the desert.

Initially, you run because your life is in danger. Danger often appears so suddenly that it is difficult to adequately prepare for the journey.  Staying alive is the most important thing.  However, once you reach safety, your human needs, such as food and water, re-appear and become the most important thing.  You run to live, and you need sustenance to stay alive!

The biggest obstacle for refugees is, where do you find food in a strange place, especially in the desert? We forget that the Israelites are human beings who need necessities to survive their journey.  One thing I learned from my experience is that our survival instinct is so strong, many use violence to survive, to obtain food and water.  This creates a great crisis for the community.  No wonder the Israelites were murmuring against God.

Jesus tested the Apostles last Sunday with the question, “Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?” The answer to “where” is Jesus.  For the Israelites, the “where” is God. Like the Apostles who witnessed Jesus’ miracles yet still doubted, the Israelites had seen the tremendous and mighty acts of God, delivering them from the hands of the Egyptians, yet they did not turn to Him in this situation.  Instead, they murmured against Him.

I would reason that God didn’t initially provide manna to the people to teach them (and us) where we should look for our food.  In the desert, where there is no food and water, the only place for us to look is up! Trust and faith in God makes Him our best and only option. 

God tested the Israelites: the revealing His mighty works should lead to faith in God. Having faith in God is to trust in God.  Trusting in God is to believe, even when things seem impossible. 

When we feel that we are in an impossible situation, perhaps a spiritual desert, God wants us to place our faith and trust in Him.   

Trust in him, and he will help you; Consider the ancient generations and see: who ever trusted in the Lord and was put to shame?  Or who ever persevered in the fear of the Lord and was forsaken? Or who ever called upon him and was overlooked.  Sirach 2:6,8,10


Kathryn Richards