You are all welcome to read this Word for Wednesday, but I’m actually writing it for me so I won’t forget what the Lord has shown me. Some lessons we need to learn in a new way.
I go through stages when I whine and complain and I can barely stand to hear myself. These days it’s often about my physical aches and pains. If it’s not that, you all know I am a master-complainer when it comes to our government. Just five minutes of headlines can send me into a tailspin. Another favorite target is the American church. I read some things that supposedly are Christian and I want to pull my hair out.
The first time the Lord called me on this complaining attitude was within the first year after I was saved. Just months before, forgiven for 39 years of sin, I was the most grateful woman on the planet. I don’t recall what I started whining about, which tells you how important it was, but this is the passage He sent my way:
Who is there who speaks and it comes to pass, Unless the Lord has commanded it? Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that both good and ill go forth? Why should any living mortal, or any man, offer complaint in view of his sins? Let us examine and probe our ways, And let us return to the LORD. (Lamentations 3:37-40)
I committed that one to memory, repented, and returned to being a grateful woman. Over the years, as I’ve dealt with my share of trails and tribulations, this passage would come to mind and close my mouth pretty quickly – but for some reason, that hasn’t been the case of late. This week the Lord has called me on it, using one little verse:
How long shall I bear with this evil congregation who are grumbling against Me? I have heard the complaints of the sons of Israel, which they are making against Me. (Numbers 14:27)
What finally broke through this thick skull of mine is that every time I complain – about anything - I’m complaining about God. I’m rebelling against the circumstances of my life, which He has ordained. I’m disagreeing with the things He’s trying to change in me. I’m saying, “Not Your will, Lord, but mine!” Ouch.
Just to make sure I wouldn’t forget, He sent me to this passage that Paul was writing about Israel in the wilderness:
Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written, “THE PEOPLE SAT DOWN TO EAT AND DRINK, AND STOOD UP TO PLAY.” Nor let us act immorally, as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in one day. Nor let us try the Lord, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the serpents. Nor grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer. Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall. (1 Corinthians 10:7-12)
Just to make sure I don’t fall, I think I’ll spend some time on my knees.