“The rabble with them began to crave other food, and again the Israelites started wailing and said, ‘If only we had meat to eat! We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost—also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic. But now we have lost our appetite; we never see anything but this manna!’” ~ Numbers 11:4-6
So, now that I have learned to knit, I have discovered that I am a big fan knitting mittens. There is something inherently satisfying to me about knitting in a circle. You’d think it would be more fun to knit back and forth and see more visible progress, but for whatever reason, I prefer to go round and round.
I think sometimes in life I tend to prefer to go around in circles as well. But unlike my mittens, I often do so in such a way that I’m really not making any progress, just going right around and ending up back where I started. You’d think I would learn from this, but some days I wonder if I like the lack of progress, because it’s familiar.
When I look at the times in my life when I act like this, I think about the Israelites wandering in the desert. Today’s verses are especially humbling to me, because in it the Israelites are complaining about God’s provision and longing for the slavery they experienced in Egypt. The whole reason they were stuck eating manna was because they had been disobedient to God and left to wander in the desert. I know that sometimes in my own life, I fail to do what’s right and then I complain about what God is doing to sustain me through the experience.
Going in circles can feel like we’re accomplishing something simply because the pattern is recognizable. But even when I’m knitting a mitten, if I don’t change at the right places, I won’t ever get a completed mitten – I’ll just get a tube of yarn. In that case, going in circles is okay, up to a point. I think in my own life God allows me to go in circles, but only for so long. Then I need to get my act together and follow His leading.
If you’re going in a circle today, talk to God why you are doing so. Ask Him to give you courage to go forward instead of back to where you started.