Sometimes as I read Exodus I sympathize with the Israelites when they doubt or complain against God. "God, aren't you a little harsh?" I want to ask when I read about the people complaining about the food or water, or being afraid of the fiery mountain or pillars of cloud.
But it struck me recently how this attitude (like the people when they did rebel) completely misses the obvious. They were slaves in Egypt, now they are not slaves. Doesn't that outweigh some hardships in the desert? And then this morning I read the story of the Golden Calf. Despite the familiarity it shocked me anew. The people, feeling that Moses had vanished, choose to make new gods to worship! They didn't just cool slightly in their enthusiasm for God, they gave up on him altogether.
I too have wanted to give up on God altogether. Fortunately he persuades me to hang on.