God Has Already Provided

Exodus 15: 22-26 describes the children of Israel voicing the first of many complaints after being delivered from bondage in Egypt. They had crossed the Red Sea and traveled inland until they ran out of water.

The hot sands of the Sinai have baked the Israelites until they feel parched and thirsty. After a few miles, they come upon a small lake, but the water tastes bitter and unfit to drink. Like the bitterness of the lake, feelings of anger expressed in grumbling and disgust get unleashed against Moses and Aaron.

“What shall we drink?” the people demand. Then Scripture gives us a beautiful gem for every leader: Then he cried out to the LORD, and the LORD showed him a tree; and he threw it into the waters, and the waters became sweet (Exod. 15: 25, emphasis added). Moses cried out to the Lord, and when he did so, God showed him a tree.

If you read this portion again, you will discover that God didn’t create a tree for Moses. God didn’t transplant a tree. He didn’t cause a tree to appear. In fact, the tree had always been there; God just showed him the tree. Moses and Aaron must have walked by that tree dozens of times without once recognizing its potential. The people may have grumbled while eating lunch under that tree. The people complained because it didn’t seem as though God had provided an answer to their dilemma of extreme thirst, desert heat and a sour lake.

Yet all the while, the answer to their plight sat right under their noses! (Or, rather, right above their heads.) Because they were too busy complaining about what they didn’t have, their eyes remained blind to what they did have. So many of God’s people through the ages became so preoccupied with what God had not provided for them that they remained oblivious to the wondrous gifts He had given them.

Let God show you the tree. It’s there, and so are your leaders. In fact, maybe you’re scheduled to have lunch with them this week! You may be fellowshipping with them today— but you will never be able to see them until you believe that they are there.

The above is an excerpt from Pastor Wayne Cordeiro’s book, Doing Church as a Team. Throughout February, we’ll be exploring the Biblical mandate for teamwork – and how we as leaders can build thriving teams. 

Tell us what you think!