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"What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? Didn't we say to you in Egypt, 'Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians'? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!" Moses answered the people, "Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today." —Exodus 14:11-13

Sometimes you may complain about where you are living and your conditions, and God lets you jump out of the frying pan into the fire. You think, I'd love to be back where I was! That's the way the Israelites were. They complained so much that they made God angry. God went to Moses and said, "I'm fed up with the people. I am going to destroy them and start a new nation with you!" Moses said, "Oh no! Don't do that!" Moses was free to leave at any time he wanted; he could have left them. For example, he could have gone to live with Jethro, his father-in-law, but he stayed right there. "So he said he would destroy them—had not Moses, his chosen one, stood in the breach before him to keep his wrath from destroying them" (Ps. 106:23). Moses accepted unhappy living conditions and stayed right there. Can you do that? Can you accept that God has put you where you are for a reason? It's not what you want to call home, but Moses made it home.

Do you have to live with so-called Christians? Do you have to live with family, but you get on each other's nerves—perhaps you would like some space? It's one thing to have family to stay for a day or two, but it's quite another to have to live with them.

Could it be that God has sent that thorn in the flesh so that we would get our real joy not from the situation around us, but from the joy of the Lord (Neh. 8:10)? God could change our situation here below, and maybe He will. When? My answer: the moment His presence becomes more precious than the external circumstances that we thought were so important.

Excerpted from The Thorn in the Flesh (Charisma House, 2004).

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