Stranded in the Desert of Life

This week, I had a situation that didn’t go the way I had planned. At the last minute, an obligation I couldn’t escape forced me to change my schedule and cancel something I was really looking forward to.

I was angry, frustrated, and ungrateful. I was a picture of Israel: in the desert, complaining.

Do you remember the story?

“The whole Israelite community set out from Elim and came to the Desert of Sin. In the desert the whole community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The Israelites said to them, ‘If only we had died by the Lord’s hand in Egypt! There we sat around posts 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.'” Exodus 16:1-3

God had just saved His people from Pharaoh’s army, He was leading them to the Promised Land, and this was their response. However, God was still gracious.

“Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘I will rain down bread from heaven for you.'” Exodus 16:4

Guess what, even after God’s provision, their complaints continued.

On this week’s Bowtie Friday video, I talked about the Israelite’s story in the book of Exodus and our unrelenting habit of complaining.

Bowtie Friday with Matt Ham: Complaining from Matthew Ham on Vimeo

My simple challenge to you is something I had to wrestle with this week.

Eat your Manna.

Sometimes God provides exactly what He wants, just enough to sustain us. He’s more concerned about our trust in Him than our desire for our agenda.

Your Manna may be your current job, your marriage, or your living arrangement. It may not be the Promised Land you thought it would be, but it is what He has given you.

Here’s the interesting thing, Jesus would come and say:

“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much., and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.” Luke 16:10

If you can’t appreciate the Manna, the provision, He’s given you now. How will you expect to appreciate the provision you’d want Him to give tomorrow?

Let go of your desire for your own agenda in exchange for your decision to be grateful.

As I said in the video above, “It is in the desert where our true self is revealed.”

I know what the desert feels like and I’m sure you do too.

QUESTION: Will we argue and complain, or will we choose gratitude as we wait for our Promised Land?



Earlier this week, I had a podcast interview that I would love for you to listen to. I talk about the best version of me with Clay Shaver - Click here - Stop by Clay's site and give a listen. He has a great show and a great message.
Remodling Clay Podcast

Remodling Clay Podcast


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7 Responses to Stranded in the Desert of Life

  1. Michelle August 9, 2014 at 10:22 am #

    Oh, man!! You got me today. Great post!! Boy do I complain about the desert!! I’ve been in a desert for almost 4 years after being rescued from Egypt. Now I’m whining that I’m not in the promised land yet. I know I have been healed and transformed in the desert, but I know I have more to go. Instead of getting to it, I have been wallowing. Time to get up and eat my manna.

    • Matt Ham August 9, 2014 at 4:07 pm #

      Michelle –
      That is fantastic! I’m so glad you are recognizing that. My prayers are with you. Choose gratitude.

  2. R Scott Wiley August 9, 2014 at 1:56 pm #

    Eat your manna. I needed to hear this today. A couple of years ago, I thought I was in the promised land but the “dream job” wasn’t exactly what I expected. Two years later, even that has gone away and I feel like I’m wandering a little. But where God wants me to be at the same time. I see the manna coming but sometimes I feel that I should be doing more, eating more. Right now I just need to listen, follow, and eat that manna. Thanks!

    • Matt Ham August 9, 2014 at 4:09 pm #

      Amen Scott. The interesting thing about manna is that whether they gathered much or whether they gathered little it was just enough for their daily needs. Blessings friend!

  3. Dan Black August 23, 2014 at 8:56 pm #

    I’m sure Moses wished he said, “let some of my people go.” Just the ones who are thankful and have a good attitude. Just kidding. We have a lot to be thankful for and we have to show our gratitude for what we have. Great read!

    • Matt Ham August 24, 2014 at 6:12 am #

      Haha, Dan! The more I talk with people and coach, this is a KEY area many miss out on.