God's people were afflicted with deadly serpents in Numbers 21. They cried out to God and he put a snake on a pole, that whoever looked at it would be saved from the snakes. How many afflictions do people deal with today in our city? How much pain and suffering do people go through just to get through the day? The wife that feels she has to live with abuse so her children can be provided for. The child who grows up without love, only knowing the pain of criticism. The parents of a teenager who has decided that the streets are more important than his family. Why have we as a church avoided these communities and families and replaced ministry to the hurting with ministry to ourselves? Because we, like the Israelites, are chronic complainers and think only of own petty problems instead of God's mission. We prefer to focus on securing our own comfort instead of bringing comfort to those who are suffering without hope. Maybe God will send us our own batch of snakes so we will look to Jesus and remember our mission. Maybe He is already just punishing complacency with more complacency and we lose out on the blessing of being part of what He is doing to transform our city, myself included.