If you’re stuck wondering what it is that God wants you to bring to the table this Lent, a possible question to ask yourself is this: What do I internally moan about the most? And by moan, I mean grumble.
At the root of grumbling is the assumption that I’ve been overlooked somehow. That God is doing the bare minimum in my case. I grumble because I expect better from God in return for my faith and worship.
Grumblers are disappointed in the meagerness of God’s provision for them. They are weary of manna for their daily bread. Can’t God, being God, set a more bountiful table for them just once? How hard would it be for God to provide, not just what’s needed, but also what’s most longed for?
Grumblers are disappointed in the lack of God’s protection. They are afraid that they are going to die – physically, emotionally, spiritually – in this most unwelcome place. Can’t God, being God, bring them some measure of safety and rest? We expect a bit more from God in return for our faith in him.
Grumblers, if they’re honest, are deeply disappointed with God. God is not keeping his end of the bargain. He’s falling short of expectations. He’s passing them by.
So, if you are willing to follow the breadcrumb trail of your grumbling, you will surely find something to bring to the table this Lent.
1. Where are you most disappointed with God? What thing, if God were to provide it to you exactly as you wish, would turn your grumbles to praise? Bring that thing to the table. Give that thing back to God and praise him anyway.
2. What good outcome, if God made a way today, would cause you to believe that God had not passed you by? What could God do for you that would return your hope in his kindness? Bring that thing to the table. Give the outcome you long for back to God. And look at the cross.
Because Jesus didn’t do the bare minimum. He was wholly betrayed, utterly abandoned, broken and killed in that unwelcome place. He went to the depths of hell and back so you might sit with him, all of you restored and whole, at his table.
God gave Jesus because he desired that not one be overlooked. That all would see and know the unfathomable depths of his love. God sent Jesus so that all grumblers would turn and orient their lives towards his lovingkindness.
Peace to you, and a spirit of joy this season, because God is not disappointed in you. He is not meager or miserly in his dealings with you and your people. And He is eternally worthy of your hope, your faith, and your praise.