Exodus 16:3 - "If only the Lord had killed us back in Egypt," they moaned. "There we sat around pots filled with meat and ate all the bread we wanted. But now you have brought us into this wilderness to starve us all to death."
God had promised the Israelites that He would free them from slavery and deliver them to the Promised Land, a land filled with milk and honey. On paper that sounds great. Notice how He didn't give them the road map ahead of time?
So here they are, one month into the journey. Thirty short days. Where is this Promised Land anyway? I'm ready for milk and honey. My feet are tired and if I have to sleep one more night on the ground my back is going to rebel. On and on and on, complaint after complaint. So God answers. In verse four we read, "Look, I'm going to rain down food from heaven for you."
Rock on. Turkey with all the fixings - stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberries, pumpkin pie. Or, maybe steak and baked potatoes. I'd even settle for a Big Mac! Whatever was coming...and I know that I'd build it up in my head...the King of the Universe, who has chosen my people to make into a nation, is going to provide in a miraculous way (think about the Red Sea, the Angel of Death, frogs, gnats, hail). Clearly this is a God who knows how to do it right. It's going to be awwwesommme!
The next day comes and what do we get...wings and crackers. You heard it right. Wings and crackers. Really God? Not even peanut butter for those Ritz crackers?
Have you ever wondered why God seems to under deliver? Don't get me wrong, a miracle is a miracle. But if we've been promised the Promised Land, why not turkey instead of hot wings? Why not an instantly healed marriage instead of one you have to keep working at? Why not a job we love instead of a crazy boss who steals all our joy? Why not a million bucks instead of just enough to pay the mortgage? A BMW instead of a Yugo?
Maybe it's because God knows our tendency to slide toward the comfortable. If we got turkey in the desert we'd never want to leave the desert. Like the Israelites we'd forget that freedom with crackers is better than slavery with a big ole' slab of meat. We'd forget that we're on His journey, not our own. His care for us keeps us longing for our arrival at the Promised Land.
So the next time you're tempted to complain that God hasn't pushed the easy button and given you what you want, remember that He's given you what you need; which is just enough to remind you tomorrow that what you need is Him!