Dear Friends,

Moses did not have it easy. God elected him to redeem the Israelites from Egyptian slavery. After some hesitation Moses accepted the task. He quickly found it far more challenging than expected. Not only did he have to contend with Pharaoh’s recalcitrance but he also found himself trying to create community surrounded by Israelites who, at times, seemed more practiced at complaining than anything else. Even long after they had crossed the Sea of Reeds, the Israelites’ whining continued unabated. Central to their complaints was that the manna God sent from the heavens each day wasn’t satisfying. The situation then went from bad to worse. Moses discovered that not only were the Israelites unhappy, but his brother Aaron and his sister Miriam were speaking against him as well.

Clearly the Israelites were unable to appreciate all they had. They did not understand gratitude. They constantly lost perspective. In …