One of the greatest dangers of the wilderness is the tendency toward ingratitude. The wilderness is hard, and after a while, the miracles become overshadowed by the mayhem. And in the process, instead of being thankful for manna, we start whining for quail.
In 1 Corinthians 10, Paul says the Lord was angry with his people for complaining and grumbling, and includes these "little" sins of ingratitude alongside idolatry, immorality, and trying the Lord.
My own wilderness of the past few weeks has left me feeling less than grateful at times. It has been easy to talk about the things that are going badly. And indeed, some things have gone very, very wrong over the past couple of weeks, particularly as they relate to my dad's health.
But again and again, if I work at it, I can see many blessings, too -- miracles amid the mayhem. Today, as we continue our Lenten meditations, a few blessings from the past couple of weeks:
1.) my dad's successful surgery and release from the hospital (yesterday)
2.) unexpected time to spend with my family at the hospital and on the phone
3.) a negative CA125 - cancer free for 21 months now
4.) counting down the days until an exciting mission trip to Southeast Asia
5.) a job I enjoy that can meet my needs
6.) a great theology conference at my church this past weekend
7.) loving support from many friends and family
8.) a haircut
9.) 9 days of puppy sitting for Brewster the Golden Retriever
10.) a growing relationship with Jesus