Moses was a man under control. Think about it…if you were Moses wouldn't you have given up on God's people over their continual whining, moaning and groaning? These people were so ungrateful, and they allowed themselves to get frustrated over all kinds of situations. They wanted out of Egypt yet when things got tough in the wilderness they wanted to return to slavery. They pleaded for food, but when God provided manna and quail--they didn't like it. They were skeptical that God would give them the Promised Land when the report of ten of the twelve spies came back negative. Moses somehow stayed above their cries and exhibited incredible self-control.
Remaining calm and collected in the midst of adversity, conflict, pain, disappointment and failure pleases God. Self-control is identified as one of the "fruits of the Spirit" (Galatians 5:22-23). One of my friends defined self-control as "love under control." Because of the love we have experienced first-hand from Jesus Christ, we can exhibit self-control rather than become angry or bitter. Therefore, the next time you find yourself in the midst of a difficult situation and you're about to explode, remember that self-control is the goal. In fact, Paul W. Powell reminds us, "God is more concerned about our character than our comfort. His goal is not to pamper us physically but to perfect us spiritually." Allow God the opportunity to mold and develop us; even when our comfort is at stake.
A great illustration of how irritation and pain can work to develop something beautiful is the oyster and its pearl. For an unknown reason, the shell of an oyster gets pierced and an alien substance-a grain of sand-slips inside. When it enters, all the resources within the sensitive oyster rush to the spot and begin releasing healing fluids which would otherwise remain dormant. As the irritant is covered the would heals developing a precious pearl. This jewel would have never developed without adversity.