“the only person who faced a unique situation in the history of the world is Jesus Christ. To my knowledge, no one else has been crucified to pay the price for the sins of man.”
Tonight I met a woman who is afraid that her young adult daughter is going to commit suicide because of personal struggles. Another friend has a family member battling with addiction and the loss of custody of her children. Another is facing a round of returning cancer, still others have debilitating diseases, are facing divorce, financial burdens, job loss and a multitude of other problems which they may not even share. Have you ever looked around at those in your life, not people on the news, not the ‘friends of a friend,’ but those who are personally in YOUR life and stopped to be thankful for what you have? No matter what our situation is, it never takes long to find someone else with a situation that is worse than ours. The unfortunate ones, however, are those who find themselves in a set of circumstances and spend incredible amounts of time either; trying to be martyrs because of what they’re going through or simply complaining about it.
How would you feel if you tried to teach a child a lesson that would benefit the rest of their entire life but all they did was grumble about it? This lesson would alter their entire existence. It would change the way they looked at themselves and others, the way they encountered their fellow man, it would improve their quality of life because of the insight that they would gain but instead of accepting the challenge they just moaned in protest? A handful of words come to mind; brat, spoiled, undeserving, ungrateful, just to name a few. Yet, for some of us, EVERY time God hands us a challenge that will help build our character into being the utmost person that we can be what do we do? We whine.
God directed Moses to lead His people out of Egypt; a move that would not only take them out of bondage but change the history of the world. What did they do?
“And the people complained in the hearing of the Lord about their misfortunes, and when the Lord heard it, his anger was kindled, and the fire of the Lord burned among them and consumed some outlying parts of the camp. Then the people cried out to Moses, and Moses prayed to the Lord, and the fire died down. So the name of that place was called Taberah, because the fire of the Lord burned among them. Now the rabble that was among them had a strong craving. And the people of Israel also wept again and said, “Oh that we had meat to eat!” (Numbers 11:1-4)
They acted like everything they had experienced in Egypt had been wonderful and that the food they had been given was free; forgetting that the food they ate required their own oppression to obtain. In each instance God provided what they NEEDED but how often do we complain about not getting what we WANT? If we each look at our lives and at what we complain about in the average day:
The kids aren’t getting ready on time. I’m tired. I have to fix breakfast, no one ever recognizes what I do in a day, no one appreciates me, the traffic is bad, the kids need money for something last minute, my husband has to work late, he forgot about plans we made, the dog just destroyed my favorite plant, the sink is stopped up, the this, the that…and we know these things happen because any one of us can log on to Facebook or any other social media and read in MULTITUDE a list of complaints that our friends and family have in their lives on a daily (sometimes hourly) basis. It’s like all they have to do is update their status with the latest catastrophe in their life…forgetting to set the trash out in time for pickup. The first thing to remember is that while our lives are unique our problems are not. Most everything that any one of us has endured has been a challenge for someone else and like it or not we are NOT the ONLY person to ever face that particular problem. As a matter of fact, I think it’s safe to say that the only person who faced a unique situation in the history of the world is Jesus Christ. To my knowledge, no one else has been crucified to pay the price for the sins of man. Yet some of us want to act like no one else has EVER had a flat tire on the way to work or locked their keys in their car.
Every obstacle in our lives is a learning opportunity from God; no matter how small. Perhaps He is trying to teach you patience with the kids or compassion with your husband. Maybe He is building your endurance of small stressful problems so that you will be able to handle something bigger later on.
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. “ (Romans 8:28 ESV)
Unfortunately, instead of embracing every encounter; we complain. We complain when we have nothing to fix for dinner with a freezer full of food. We complain that we have nothing to wear with a closet full of clothes. I’ve seen women complain about their husbands working late while others just wish their husband could find a job.
In ALL things there is a path of gratitude available. It’s up to us to choose that path and all too often we lose our way by taking the express route to the Land of Complainability. What road are you on? All to often, as Christians, we want the blessings of God but not the lessons from Him. We want those things that are easy to deal with but nothing that challenges us. More importantly to remember is that it’s not just whether or not we SPEAK our complaints but what we are harboring in our hearts. It’s one thing for our Twitter followers to know that we’ve stopped grumbling about our day but God knows how dark our hearts are with resentment. If you’re on the wrong path and one of these Christians who is waiting for Jesus to come back in order for all of your problems so that you wont have to, here’s a bit of advice: suck it up. God has the afterlife covered; He needs to prepare you for His use NOW. Oh and NO COMPLAINTS ALLOWED!
“In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for special purposes and some for common use. Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work. (2 Timothy 2:20-21)