Have you ever had one of those days where you feel like nothing can go right?
Where you feel like the world is against you? You set a plan and it’s like the world is intentionally trying to work against you. For whatever reason, NOTHING goes smoothly.
Are there periods in your life when everyday feels like this? This is where I have been lately. Every day is a day filled with frustration. And naturally, I’ve been complaining about it. There are some days by 9a, all I have done is grumble about how horrible my day is and how nothing is right in my life. The Kerig cup exploded and spilled coffee all over the kitchen, one dog peed in the house, the other dog won’t stop barking, I didn’t get my morning bible study done, I’m behind on my work, I don’t have time to write, I have a headache, I didn’t sleep well, the thing I was waiting for in the mail didn’t come on time…I could go on but I think you get the point. And although I know in my heart, these things are trivial, I don’t let it stop me from complaining or constantly voicing my frustrations. And that’s what these things are…MY frustrations. It isn’t really the world against me. It is my skewed perception of reality.
A few weeks ago, Chris mentioned my grumbling. Bless him for being a great communicator and being able to confront me on my issues in a loving manner. God followed up on the seed He planted through Chris with a huge sock in the stomach (God was definitely more blunt than Chris!). This past week in my bible study, we talked about grumbling. I’m pretty sure God chose that specific topic to be covered in my bible study with the entire purpose of reaching me. The book we are studying is Don’t Follow Your Heart by Jon Bloom. The real sucker punch came with the statement “Grumbling is a gauge of the human soul. It gauges our gaze on grace. It tells us that we’re not seeing grace.” Ouch. When I grumble, my intent is really just to “vent”. However, if this "venting" is a reflection of my soul, then I have quite a bit of cleaning up to do.
And as we discussed grumbling in the context of grace, I realized I deserve every little frustration or inconvenience that comes my way. I actually deserve a lot worse and it is by grace God intervenes in such a manner that I have it so good. And by grumbling, I lose sight of so so so many things.
So be careful how you live, not as fools but as those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity for doing good in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but try to understand what the Lord wants you to do. Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, let the Holy Spirit fill and control you. Then you will sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, making music to the Lord in your hearts. And you will always give thanks for everything to God the Father in name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
First of all, when I grumble, I lose sight of the fact that every single little or big inconvenience or barrier I find in my day, is working together for God’s glory. His plan is perfect and there is a purpose behind every perceived hang up. This reminds me of something that happened when I was a kid. Every Wednesday night, a friend’s mom would take us all to church (Awanas) and we would stop by the 7-11 convenience store to get a Slurpee. I remember one Wednesday we were running late and didn't get to get a Slurpee. I’m sure my friend’s mom was frustrated and from a kid's perspective, not getting a Slurpee pretty much meant the world was ending…I mean being deprived of a sugary cold beverage is like the end of the world, but not. Little did we realize, God was intervening on our Slurpee outing with intent and purpose. The next day we learned the roof of the 7-11 store actually caved in around the exact timeframe we would have been getting our Slurpee. For that night, whatever caused us to run late and miss our Slurpee, also saved us from a dangerous, potentially fatal, situation. Everything works according to His plan.
And grumbling doesn’t only undermine His plan but it also elevates my needs and my plan above His plan. Think entitlement. When I grumble about things not going according to my plan, it is as if I feel I’m entitled to having a plan and that my plan is better than His. This all goes into the idea that grumbling is a gauge for when we lose touch with the reality of grace. God’s plan is my life…and there is so much grace wrapped into my life, all that should come from my mouth are words of thankfulness, praise and glory to God. I am blessed beyond words or measure. The insignificant frustrations are disguised distractions from His plan, His purpose and His worship.
Finally, grumbling is a poor witness to others. Think about someone that does not know Christ, looking at you grumbling about your personal frustration. Does that reflect Christ’s love, patience or kindness? Grumbling is a reflection of an ungrateful heart.
It is clear to me, I have some serious work to do. I need to dig deep and ask God to clean out the ungratefulness in my heart so I can reflect His love in every moment of the day. Because I am blessed and it’s best I start acting like it.
Grace, grumbling and a sucker punch,
Just a few reflections about everything God is teaching me in this life...a journey deeper into His purpose for my life.