There are two points I get out of reading this passage—to give thanks to God and to have trust in God.
The first point, giving thanks to God, comes from verses 7 through 11, where some people are made an example of because of their lack of appreciation for what the Lord has given them. Some were indulgent in what they were given, others were testing the Lord, and yet others were complaining, wanting more. The death of these people by snakes and destroying angels reminds us, albeit not very subtly, to be thankful for what the Lord has given us. If I consider my own life, there are plenty of things I don’t consider a blessing, but I’m reminded in this passage that everything in my life, from my weathered-down school supplies to my worn-out Converse, is worth giving thanks.
The second point, having trust in God, comes from verses 12 through 13, which says that God doesn’t give us a challenge that we can’t overcome or that is more difficult than another’s challenges. Although the obstacles I face (schoolwork, track and field, friend drama, etc.), seem insurmountable, I need to remind myself that I will never fall off God’s radar; he’ll never strand me.
Let us pray: Dear Lord, I thank you for all the things that I neglect to recognize in my life, whether it be because they’re overshadowed or because I take them for granted. Help me see these hidden blessings in my life and to celebrate them. Also, give me guidance in this crazy world, that I may stay on the path that you have made that will lead me to your kingdom. With you, I know I can conquer the challenges I face. Amen.