by Japhet Donaire (35th Batch)
“The Children of Israel wept again and said, Who shall give us flesh to eat? The cucumber, melon, leeks, onions and the garlic. There is nothing at all besides this manna, before our eyes.” Numbers 11:4-6
Have you ever been in a situation like the Israelites’? Have you had the same feeling and murmuring that they had while abiding in God’s providence? Have you ever tried slapping the hand of God by saying, “What You’ve given me isn’t enough, God. Nice try. You promise to be all I need, but You’re just not meeting my expectations.”
During my first three weeks here in Korea, everything was so strange to me, especially the food. One cool Sunday morning, the church members and teachers, together with our Pastor, had an outdoor activity. We had a little store that sold goodies of different kinds as a fund raiser for our children center where I was assigned. As a first timer, I do not exactly know what to do but it went quite well.
I was very anxious for time to go faster because I was very hungry. I was already imagining what food I would have for lunch. Our pastor and the others ate their lunch first since the booths should not be left unattended. My stomach was really growling for food at that time and I couldn’t wait any longer for the first batch to return from their meal.
Luckily, there was a kind old lady who gave us food. Wow! It was cold noodles! On a cold day, someone cared to give us cold noodles? I was talking to myself, feeling very unfortunate to be in that situation. I tasted the noodles but it was so strange and I didn’t really like the taste. It seemed as if it was not food. I was thinking that I could eat more later when the others would get back. But to my surprise, one of my colleagues told me that we didn’t need to go somewhere else because the cold noodles was our lunch already. And worst of all, they asked me to go with the old woman and help carry her things as a sign of gratitude. I obeyed but deep in my heart I was upset, hungry and disappointed. I was complaining that if this woman had not brought her strange food, we could have gone to a decent restaurant and I could have eaten to my heart’s desire.
Upon arriving at her house, I noticed that she is very different from other Korean nationals who lived in fully furnished apartments. In short, she’s a poor woman living in a very small house together with his son. All of the sudden, all my murmurings and whinings stopped. This old lady managed to share what she hardly have just to show us her care and generosity. What a very eloquent sign of a Christian way of living!
Thank you was not enough to let her know how lucky we were to have been served by and shared with her food. The shame that I felt was like a knife cutting through my heart. Then I realized that even those who lack of so many things do not hesitate to give what they have. Who am I to complain of what I had? God used this old woman to remind me of the things that I almost forgot.
It may happen to you, my friend–maybe in a different way and situation, but always remember that instead of whining we should be grateful for those simple things that we receive each day. Dont slap the hand of God’s sufficiency. Contentment is the key!