Do everything without complaining or arguing so that you may become blameless and pure children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation. Philippians 2:14
Complaining. I have been dancing with this partner for the last few months. I have allowed it to put its arms around me while I move through life. God has showed me that complaining is putting my hands on my hips, looking Him in the eye and saying, “I don’t like the way you’re handling things in my life.” Oh… OUCH!!! And I felt it. I felt it from the top of my head to the tip of my toes. It’s truly ugly. Can you picture it?
Complaining is to express dissatisfaction, resentment and the one that knocked me over… to make a formal accusation. Am I taking this too far? I don’t think so.
The Israelites complained, “Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to this terrible place? It has no grain or figs, grapevines or pomegranates. And there is no water to drink!” Did you notice the explanation mark at the end of that sentence? That means the Israelites were expressing a strong feeling or using a high volume toward the Lord. It makes me shutter. It should make me shutter.
But God is so kind. He knows I am dust. And he says to the dust with her hands on her hips, “Is My grace not sufficient for you? Is it not?” Either it is sufficient or He is a liar. Again he speaks to me, “Are you unhappy with your portion?” And these verses invade my head and my heart and complaining is silenced. Be still and know that I am God. Know it – be certain of it.
Discontent with God takes us to terrible places. It takes us to doubt. Doubt says, “Welcome – come on in!” Doubt greets you at the door and spins you round and round and it’s hard to escape. The Israelites doubted God and eventually forgot Him – they forgot Him! Forgetting God took them to terrible places. It took them back to slavery and death and defeat and doubt just smiled and waited for its next victim. But God is kind and remembered His promise to Abraham and did not leave the Israelites to perish, because although they wavered, He never did. He never wavers.
Proverbs 18:10 says, “The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.” You know, it’s hard to run with your hands on your hips. Not only do you look ridiculous, but you have no speed. Yes, trials are hard. They are not fun. But they are entrusted to us. Choose to face them with the Word of God. Do not welcome Doubt. James 1:6 says, “But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea blown and tossed by the wind.” Oh yes, Doubt will toss you here and there like a crazy storm on the sea, but the Lord is our strong tower and the righteous run to it. We run to Him.