How many of us are stubborn? We can all be stubborn.
For instance, my 8-year-old daughter received a bike a few Christmases ago. She was thrilled. It was a pink Schwinn with a basket on the front and palm palms on the handlebars. It was a cold, blustery day, but we wouldn’t let that stop us. We were getting ready to take Katie to the park for a first ride on Christmas afternoon, but first, I had to pump up the tire.
I got the bike pump from the shop and returned to the living room. The bike was among all of the other toys the kids had opened. The tire was as flat as could be. I started pushing down on the pump. Katie was smiling, and Blair was smiling—a few more pumps. Katie looks at me and says, “It looks full, dad. That’s enough.”
I said, “Katie, no! It just looks full, and it’s not even half full.”
I kept pumping.
Blair said, “I think Katie’s right. I bet it’s fine.”
I said, “I’ve pumped up a lot of bikes in my life. Feel it. It’s still got some room. That tire needs to be rock solid. Trust me. I’m a pastor.”
At this point, I had to push down hard on the pump. I leaned on the pump and gave one more big push.
Pow! The tire exploded. The girls fell to the ground. The dog tucked her tail and hid. It was like a gunshot had gone off.
After getting up from the floor, Katie looked at me and said, “Dad, you killed my bike.”
Sure enough, her bike was dead.
Do you know what caused this outcome? Stubbornness. Blair was stubborn. Stubborn is when you are determined not to have anyone change your mind despite their many logical reasons to do so.
The people of Israel could be like that too. They found themselves in the wilderness with Moses. God had delivered them from slavery in Egypt and rescued them from the onslaught of the Egyptian army by parting the Red Sea. They had every logical reason to trust God in this new chapter of their life. But just a few days into their newfound freedom, they began to grumble because they had no water to drink. They filed a complaint against Moses. Why? They were stubborn. But we can all be stubborn.
Where does this stubbornness come from? This stubbornness comes from the people of Israel dealing with change. With change comes uncertainty about the future. We often lash out at our leaders when we don’t deal well with change. In times of change, God calls us to trust. God’s never failed us yet.