daily devotional

Whatever your problem is, your solution is nearby. God does not promise a problem free journey, he promises provision for every problem along the way. Look around, your solution is likely less miraculous in appearance than you imagined and more practical in nature.

It’s the offering of the little you have which somehow becomes enough to feed thousands.
It’s the marching in circles that brings walls down.
It’s the singing of praise that makes chains fall off.

God works miraculously through the practical. Don’t miss the solution he is offering you today as you wait for something that appears more miraculous.

Yesterday we read about the Israelites escaping slavery and crossing the Red Sea. On the other side of the sea, they broke out in celebration and Miriam whips out her tambourine and praises God. She had prepared her praise and premeditated her celebration by bringing her tambourine along. The very next verse after this celebration brings us to the next problem.

Now the Israelites are in the desert and what’s lacking in a desert? Water. That’s a problem.

Exodus 15:22-24

“Then Moses led Israel from the Red Sea and they went into the Desert of Shur. For three days they traveled in the desert without finding water. When they came to Marah, they could not drink its water because it was bitter. So the people grumbled against Moses, saying, “What are we to drink?” Then Moses cried out to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a piece of wood. He threw it into the water, and the water became fit to drink.”

Here we have a real problem. No drinkable water in the middle of a desert. Imagine walking from Yuma Arizona to Tuscon with no water. That’s a problem. God offered a solution.

The solution could not be found in complaining. As the people complained, dying of thirst and facing the disappointment of finding water that was undrinkable, the water remained as it was. God did not respond to their complaining.

How much are we complaining right now, and how much is it helping anything? God isn’t drawn in to our complaints, instead I believe it proves we’re not ready for what he is offering. Our complaining proves the lesson hasn’t been learned and the bitterness is still within us.

The bitter water represented the bitterness of the Israelites. Even after witnessing the miraculous work of God as they crossed the Red Sea and were saved from the Egyptian Army, they fall back into complaining and wanting to return to Egypt as soon as they faced the next problem.

Isn’t that us … we go from praise to complaint in the same day. Whew God you are so good … to …. Oh my gosh this sucks and I hate it. From shaking our tambourine to shaking our head.

God did not respond to their complaining.

Mamas, how do you respond to your kid’s complaining? Are you eager to jump in and help when they’re whiny? No! That’s what time out is for. Little girl, sit your butt down over here for a hot minute and work on your attitude. After a little time out and attitude adjustment, my kids would typically come back with a different attitude and a tender voice saying “Mama, can you help me now?”

My answer … of course honey, now I can help.

Papa, can you help me now? I love the Message translation of the Bible because it often refers to God the Father as Papa. That’s who he is, he is YOUR PAPA. Papa, can you help me now?

The people complained and the water remained bitter. Moses cried out to God, and God guided him to a solution.

Maybe your complaints in the past proved you weren’t ready, but now you’re here with a better attitude, ready to seek God for help. And THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING.

God says, of course honey, now I can help.

The solution a piece of wood that would turn the bitter water sweet and make it drinkable. That solution was always there. The tree growing next to the water had been growing for years on purpose to be used.

God has a solution for all our problems before they ever happen to us. Before they ever came to the bitter water thirsty, God had provided the tree as a solution.

Yes we will have bitter water as a problem in life, but we will also have a sweet tree as provision from God. With the problem comes God’s provision, but do we not perceive it.

Jesus said he is going to prepare a place for us, won’t he also provide a way to get there? And won’t he be in every detail along the way? All is prepared between here and heaven, his provision has been planted, we just need open eyes to see it.

Complaining does not open our eyes. Only seeking God shows us.

When Moses cried out to God for help, the Lord showed him the wood. This wood would turn the bitter waters sweet and make them drinkable.

It was a practical solution for a real problem.

Maybe while you’ve been seeking some miraculous magical feat, God actually has a very practical solution you’ve been overlooking.

God, help me see what you’ve placed right here for a purpose. Lead me to the solution. I will stop complaining and I will seek you. Guide me.

After turning the bitter water sweet and providing for the next part of their journey, they came to a place in the desert with 12 springs and 70 palms. An oasis. A place of extreme provision.

God was leading them there, they just needed to stop at the bitter water on the way to work on their complaining attitude. There was a lesson to learn before they could come to the place God had for them.

God has provision waiting for you too my sister. A place he is leading you. If you find yourself at some bitter waters complaining and wanting to go back to the way things used to be, maybe you’re here for a sweet little lesson. A lesson on seeking God over complaining. A lesson on provision in the practical found right by the problem.

And on the other side of this lesson is a beautiful oasis you didn’t even see coming. More than enough. Abundance and beauty. A place surely worthy of your tambourine once again. You’re going to want to keep that tambourine sister. Pack your praise and keep it with you. God’s just working through this problem to bring you to a better place.