And the whole congregation of the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness,” Ex 16:2. The Hebrew word for grumble is “lun”. It a sound word meaning growl like a dog.
“And the people of Israel said to them, “Would that we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the meat pots and ate bread to the full, for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.” Ex 16:3
The problem with grumbling is a failure to believe in the loving care of God and His guidance in their lives! They even blamed God for leading them into the desert to kill them! For a person in great pain it is terribly hard to see God’s provident love in their lives. Pain and loss is a wonderful opportunity to grow and exercise our faith in the incredible care that God has for us!
In Scripture God often tests us! The translation of the word temptation into English is misleading. We are closer to the real meaning of this word by using “testing” When Jesus was said to be tempted it was not to do evil but the pain which he experienced in doing his Father’s will! It was an opportunity in His human nature to “do the will of His Father”. Our love and trust in God best grows in pain. Our greatest acts of love for God are often in our greatest hurts.
A person once said when we grumble 80 % of people don’t care, and the remaining 20% are glad we are getting what we deserve. “God is love” and the only thing He can do to us is to love us! A grumbling person fails as the Apostles did in the storm at sea. In their fear they woke up the sleeping Jesus and said to Him what might be the worst thing we can say: “It does not matter To You that we are perishing”. He cares for us so much that He sent His only begotten Son to die a terrible death on the cross. It was the ultimate act of loving care for us!
Fr. Bob Weiss, C.P. preaches Parish Missions and is a member of the Passionist Community in Louisville, Kentucky.