The other night I was sitting around griping about something. You see, I’m an organized guy. I like for things to run efficiently and I get irritated when I feel like my time has been wasted or something I’m involved in but not in charge of could be run better in my opinion. So I started grumbling to my wife (who will patiently listen to me) about all of the things I would do differently if I was in charge of the situation. And just to be clear, I wasn’t grumbling ABOUT my wife – I wouldn’t live long if I tried that, and besides – I’ve got nothing to complain about there. 🙂
The next morning, I woke up and was convicted by how much I was acting and sounding like the Israelites in the book of Exodus. This ragtag nation was brought out of Egypt through all of these miraculous things that God did, including parting the Red Sea to allow them to walk across and then drowning all their enemies right behind them! And yet, just a short time later, these same people who have seen God work so mightily in their lives and situations start grumbling and complaining that they were better off in slavery in Egypt! (Exodus 16:2) In fact, their negative personality would eventually cause God to decide that all of them would die in the wilderness rather than enter the promised land. Their kids would be able to enter, but the grumblers and complainers would never get in.
I don’t want to be left out in the wilderness as a grumbler. So, I’ve tried to keep reminding myself of two things recently. When the “stuff” of life comes up, I just repeat these two things to myself. First, God is on the throne. (Psalm 47:8) There is nothing going on in my life that He doesn’t know about, hasn’t allowed, and isn’t in control of. He knows more about what is going on around me than I could ever be aware. And he knows what is going to be happening tomorrow as well.
Second, God is always good. (Jeremiah 29:11; Romans 8:28) So not only is He in control of everything that happens to me, He is only allowing those things in my life that are ultimately for my good. He’s not simply throwing stuff at me to see what I do or how I handle it. He has an ultimate purpose in mind and that purpose is GOOD. It’s hard to justify grumbling about anything when you understand those two truths. So I try to stop complaining and start praising!
If you are in the local area, I wanted to invite you to our church’s Easter program which is happening this Sunday night (March 20) at 6pm. It will be a program featuring music, prayer, and communion. Come on out to Pleasant Garden Baptist Church, 1415 Neelley Road, Pleasant Garden, NC for a special concert called “The Only Name.” Here’s the title song – it’s a great one!