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Posts Tagged ‘wilderness’


It seems the normal human response to life frustrations and relational exchanges are best termed in a Yiddish word “kvetch.”

Kvetch /k(ə)veCH/

kvetchedkvetch·ingkvetch·es

To complain persistently and whiningly.

n.

1. A chronic, whining complainer.

2. A nagging complaint

There are large sections of the Bible, however, that demonstrate how God feels about such responses and it would be good for us to pay attention to our own responses of life.

I think the “normal” response can be trained to respond from a higher level, that is, seeing our life with new eyes – from God’s perspective. What would that look like in your own life? I’ll share my testimony of God’s work in my heart on this issue.

The “No Kvetching” Rule

Three years ago Ron and I instituted a core value that we now live by. We call it our “no kvetching” rule. We embarked on an ambitious and very exciting 50-day “walk” through Europe in 2009 and we knew it would be so necessary to live from another place other than out of responses to external things that we would experience. So, from the moment we left our home until we returned 50 days later, we did not kvetch about anything, or anyone, for any reason whatsoever. You can be sure that our resolve was sorely tested, but, for the most part, we were successful. The fruit of this “experiment” was exceptional.

And you know what? Living with a determination not to kvetch really works! I suggest that you try it yourself for a day, a weekend, a week, a month…then make it a lifestyle! This will change your life! Once instituted, you will have new eyes with which to process the world around you. You see people differently—you see only the treasure in them, and not the negative stuff. (It doesn’t take a genius to see people’s faults and weaknesses, by the way.) Instead, you see only how beautifully God made them, and you see the goodness of God working on your behalf, and are not bothered by circumstantial pressures. It is quite simply a different—and much better—place to live from.

Since that Europe/Middle East trip, Ron and I have adopted the “no kvetching” rule as our core value—and we just live there all the time. It makes every day a beautiful day, and every person we meet is a treasure.

Sing a New SongEveryday

But you have to replace the kvetch habit with the opposite: thanksgiving! Another core value I live by is maintaining a vibrant heart of thanksgiving. The way this works is that I choose to see God’s goodness in everything, and I sing a new song to the Lord every day, in all situations, no matter the stress or issues I’m going on. My life–like yours–is far from stress-free or trouble free by any means. I have the same health, financial, relational issues that everyone else has. I have had to train myself to choose how to respond from a core value of thanksgiving–singing a new song to the Lord, instead of focusing on the negative. As a result, I do not have a bad day!

I share this with you to give a backdrop.

Sing to the Well

After many experiences of desert wanderings with God, kvetching (grumbling, complaining) about food, water, and life-circumstances, the Israelites got it right. Their history finally convinced them: God is our Provider—our Sustenance for every need. He always gives us a good water source; He always provides nutrient-rich foods to keep our bodies strong, and He provides all we need—supernaturally—direct from Heaven.”

As the tribes of Israel moved into the land of Moab, they needed water—again. But interestingly, this time, they did not react violently towards Moses or Aaron or with unbelief towards God. Apparently, they decided that returning to Egypt was not an option anymore.

Abraham’s well in Beersheva

From there they went to Be’er, the well the LORD told Moses about, “Gather the people so that I may give them water.”

Then Israel sang this song:

Spring up, wellsing to it!…(Numbers 21:16-18, HCSB)

Instead of complaining about what they did not have, the Israelites chose to trust God – and their leaders. They chose to sing to their provision—in joy!—with the expectation of an answer to their need.

And God provided so miraculously—enough water to care for all the tribes of people, cattle, etc…in the middle of nowhere, from an unexpected source. That’s our God.

There’s a lesson here. It is yet another example of responding with thanksgiving in every situation—instead of kvetching.

What would happen if we do likewise—singing to our well in joy—with an expectation of God’s provision? Think about your most pressing need today. Your song today could be:

  • The check’s in the mail…la, la, la
  • His mercies are new every morning…
  • Bread of Heaven, feed me til I want no more…
  • Spring up O well within my soul, spring up O well, and make me whole…

By now you have a long history with God. You know full well that the provision for all you need—however desperate—is already on its way. That’s a great start.

But, it is what we do in the meanwhile that demonstrates our current relationship with God—and our core belief about Him.

Moving up to the High Places

In all the places God led the Israelites, we see that they renamed it, appropriate to their God-encounter. Look at the three places they traveled to after their well experience.

They went from the wilderness to Mattanah, from Mattanah to Nahaliel, from Nahaliel to Bamot, from Bamot to the valley of the territory of Moab near the Pisgah highlands that overlook the wasteland (Numbers 21:18b-20, HCSB).

I was so intrigued by the Hebrew names of these places God led them:

  1. Mattanah – which means “gift”
  2. Nahali’El – which means “river of God”
  3. Bamot (Pisgah) – which means “high places”

It seems the people of Israel had a graduation: they moved from the desolate places of the lowest wastelands on the planet—in their kvetch mode—to the heights of the Moab mountainous plateau—singing to the well of provision. From the peaks of Moab, the Israeli’s had a major paradigm shift of their present situation. They now had a spectacular view of where they had come from and where they were headed—the Promised Land. And, what a vista it was!

While living in Jerusalem, I could actually see the mountains of Moab from my Jerusalem home balcony on a clear day. They were stunning in hues of pink, blue and purple. The Israeli tribes saw their inheritance for the first time in breathtaking sunrise and sunset colors.

Living From Heaven to Earth

God intentionally led the Israelis from the salt and mud pits of desolate wilderness places to the heights of beauty and provision. They called this place “a gift,” the “river of God,” the “high place.”

Likewise, our inheritance in Jesus positions us in “heavenly places” on our life journey where we too can experience a paradigm shift–particularly of our mind set. If we live from this vista position, everything in our life will be in its proper heavenly perspective.

Determine that in the very next life test your “kvetch” meter will be in the “off” mode, causing you to journey right through the salt and mud pits of desolate, wilderness places.

Sing to your well today, and watch God bring up refreshing waters from the artesian deep springs of His generous provision, all while He repositions you on the heights of His love and blessings. Enjoy the view!

Song: O Taste and See (Brian & Jenn Johnson, Bethel Music)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i4Md-hEvjz0&feature=relmfu

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