The attacks of 9/11 united America in a manner not seen since World War II. As part of the overall strategy in the war on terror, the United States embarked upon an invasion of Iraq, because of the threat of weapons of mass destruction. Seeking to establish a united coalition, the United States presented its case to the United Nations. While the majority of the nation members of the Security Council voted to support the United States, France was a notable standout, refusing and even threatening to veto the proposal. Americans were incensed and in 2003, an anti-French movement began with one of its more visible protests renaming the ubiquitous side dish as Freedom Fries.
As the war in Iraq dragged on, public sentiment turned against it. The once bright flames of patriotism, were smoldering. Without announcement, restaurants dropped the “Freedom Fries” moniker. It seems that all was forgiven, at least until the next flare up.
The United States and France have shared a long and important military, political, and economic alliance. However, like any close relationship, hiccups can and will occur. When these unfortunate events happen, both parties must take a step back and review the rewards and benefits of their relationship. In truth, both nations realized the ties that bind them are far deeper and more powerful than any temporary disagreement.
What about our relationship with God? When things do not go the way we expect, do we lash out at God and trash the relationship or do we reflect upon the blessings that He has given to us? God posed the same question to the Jews as they wandered through the desert for forty years. The Jews grumbled and complained during their trials. God was testing and refining their faith. He asked them to expand their vision of who God is and reflect upon the blessings of their relationship.
Moses summoned all the Israelites and said to them, “You have seen with your own eyes everything the LORD did in the land of Egypt to Pharaoh and to all his servants and to his whole country— all the great tests of strength, the miraculous signs, and the amazing wonders. But to this day the LORD has not given you minds that understand, nor eyes that see, nor ears that hear! For forty years I led you through the wilderness, yet your clothes and sandals did not wear out. You ate no bread and drank no wine or other alcoholic drink, but he provided for you so you would know that he is the LORD your God.
Deuteronomy 29:2-6 (NLT)
The Jews survived on manna for forty years. It was nutritionally complete and they suffered none of the vitamin and mineral deficiencies that one might expect when eating only one type of food. Just as impressive, their clothes and sandals never wore out! I don’t know of any garment or footwear that I can purchase that has that kind of guarantee! God was blessing them during their harshest trial but they did not recognize nor reflect upon it.
When relationships encounter friction and disagreement, God reminds us to revisit the blessings the relationship produced. Nations have learned this lesson, can we?
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.