Thursday, January 13, 2011

Don't complain to God. In fact, don't complain, period, and I'm looking at you here, Maeg.

I wonder why I'd rather vent to a friend about a problem than talk to the Lord about it. On one hand, it's nice to hear an immediate human response, an opinion about my problem, advice, sympathy. On the other hand, I often end the discussion wondering why I just aired my grievances and complaints so freely instead of speaking with gratitude, like I should.

I don't know about you, but I feel so strange complaining to the Lord. "It's not complaining, Maegan," you might say. "You're just telling him what's on your heart." Plus, dummy, you might think to yourself, it's not like He doesn't hear you when you're complaining to your friend. These things are true, but I can't help but think: the Lord knows the thoughts in my head and the emotions I'm feeling. But when I voice them out loud to Him in prayer, it sounds like whining. It just does.

Picture a privileged family - I'm one of the children. One day, I don't get what I want, so I complain to my sister. Of course, since she is also privileged and accustomed to our cushy life, she completely understands my perspective and agrees that my problem stinks, and that I am totally justified to feel bummed out.

Now say (if we're still sticking with the privileged family analogy) that my dad is a surgeon in a pediatric unit at the hospital. Every day he sees children who smile at him and tell him thank you. He knows that they're in pain, and their gratitude astonishes and blesses him. When he comes home and I complain that I didn't get what I wanted, he will surely listen to me. He loves me, of course - I'm his kid. But I guarantee you that he would be thinking, Oh, BROTHER. Or even worse, that he would think I was disgusting, appalling in my selfishness. He would shake his head in disappointment.

This is exactly why I feel I cannot complain to God. And maybe I am right about that. I should not complain to Him. If He truly knows the thoughts and feelings within me, then He will be blessed when I speak praise and thanksgiving out loud.

Psalm 95:1-6
"O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.
Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.

Brian and I just experienced a time of disappointment, and I am learning how to deal with it. I find myself praying, Lord, you know my heart. You understand why I am disappointed. But I will trust you, and know that you have a perfect plan. Thank you for all of the blessings you've given me. Forgive me when I feel ungrateful or fall into self-pity. I don't want to have those disgusting attitudes when so many of your children are experiencing such grief and trial.

If you experience the same struggle that I do - feeling sorry for yourself and then feeling condemned because you have been so ungrateful! - I want to encourage you with this passage:

(Psalm 103:13-18)

As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him; 14 for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust. 15 The life of mortals is like grass, they flourish like a flower of the field; 16 the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more. 17 But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children— 18 with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.

Above all, praise the Lord that he remembered his promise to us and did not leave us in our sin. Praise Him that he sent his Son. We will walk with the Lord for eternity, because He was faithful and did not forget us.


No comments:

Post a Comment